US Military Plans to equip Some Transport Aircraft with New Isolation Chambers
The US military is planning to provide some of its transport aircraft with new isolation chambers with an aim to take as many as 12 people infected with the Ebola virus.
Air Force General Paul Selva, head of the Transportation Command, said this new facility will be accessible in the next couple of weeks. The prototype was designed by Production Products Manufacturing & Sales Co., a closely held St. Louis-based company. This company also makes safety and protective apparel and shelters.
To set up communications, to give logistics capabilities and make treatment centers and hospitals, the US military has positioned about 2,900 personnel in the West Africa. According to program documents, it has not been specified whether the system is planned only for the transport of US military personnel or it will be accessible for infected civilians.
Over 17,000 people have been infected with Ebola and 6,070 killed as of November 30, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.
The Transportation Command worked together with the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to craft requirements and carried out the contract, said Selva. Four of the ‘transport isolation systems’ can be carried on a C-17 created by Boeing Co. and one on a C-130 from Lockheed Martin Corp, Selva added.
“We went from idea and requirement the first week of October to a design the first week of November to flight-testing of an isolation system. In 60 days they have delivered a solution that looks like it’s going to work”, Selva said at a breakfast meeting with defense reporters in Washington.
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