USAF’s NPC concludes first operational mission of patient movement

6 July 2020 (Last Updated July 6th, 2020 15:13)

The US Air Force’s (USAF) isolated containment chamber Negatively Pressurized Conex (NPC) has concluded its first operational mission by moving 12 patients from the US Central Command area of responsibility to Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

USAF’s NPC concludes first operational mission of patient movement
The USAF’s NPC has concluded its first operational mission by moving 12 Covid-19 patients to Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Credit: US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John R Wright.

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 The US Air Force’s (USAF) isolated containment chamber Negatively Pressurized Conex (NPC) has concluded its first operational mission by moving 12 patients from the US Central Command area of responsibility to Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

The aeromedical evacuation was conducted to help patients infected with Covid-19 to receive medical care at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

NPC has been developed to transport individuals with infectious diseases.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the chamber has successfully transferred 100 patients across 18 missions.

The NPC has the capacity to safely transport up to 28 passengers, 23 ambulatory patients or eight litters.

The USAF Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Systems Branch, working with the Joint Program Executive Office for CBRN Defense, developed the NPC.

It was also the result of a partnership with teams across the Air Force and Department of Defense under the direction of the Program Executive Office for Agile Combat Support as the Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) lead for the Air Force.

NPC was developed in response to the US Transportation Command’s (USTRANSCOM)  JUON requirement for immediate transport of Covid-19-infected personnel.

The vehicle is available in multiple configurations according to the mission requirements.

NPC support team lead Weaver, bioenvironmental engineer and 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight Major Benjamin said: “This was definitely not your typical patient movement mission.

“It was a long 22 hours for everyone involved, but the NPC and team performed exceptionally well to make it happen.”

Last month, the USAF advanced NPC and NPC Lite (NPCL) to operational tests at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina, US.