Air Mobility Command (AMC) at Scott AFB, Illinois, US, has selected Travis Air Force Base (AFB), California, US, for the US Air Force’s (USAF) specialised aeromedical evacuation (AE) missions related to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Travis AFB is one of the three selected bases, others being Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, US, and Ramstein AFB, Germany.
The airbases are used as staging grounds for AMC’s AE missions involving Transportation Isolation System (TIS) use.
Developed by the US Department of Defense (DOD) during the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the TIS is an infectious disease containment unit. It has been designed to transport infected patients with in-flight medical care.
USAF 21st Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III pilot Captain Dan Cotton said: “With TIS being fairly new and relatively untested, a lot of importance is going to be in building foundational knowledge, especially in how squadrons and protocols work together.”
A standard TIS Force Package includes one C-17, two TIS modules, an aircrew and a medical support team.
Further, the medical team comprises an AE team, critical care transport team, infectious disease team and TIS operators.
Currently, TIS capsules can be carried by the C-130H Hercules, C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 aircraft.
As the virus continues to spread, TIS continues to transport patients simultaneously maintaining the health of its airforce personnel.
Cotton added: “We’re always ready. (TIS) has really expanded our capabilities to the point where we’re able to continue the AE mission without any major interruptions by Covid-19. Despite the technology being made for Ebola, we’ve adapted it to suit today’s needs.”
Last month, the AMC aircrew and medical personnel conducted an AE of three US Government contractors with Covid-19 using the TIS. The patients were moved from Afghanistan to Ramstein AFB.