The U.S. Transportation Command unveiled its new isolation units for military planes last week, and these are a welcome and much-needed addition to our nation’s ability to respond to outbreaks of deadly infectious diseases. Now instead of being able to airlift just one patient who needs urgent, life-saving treatment, specially fitted military planes will be able to safely transport multiple patients.
Even more impressive than the finished product is the coordinated effort to get these units built. Military personnel were sent to West Africa in September to help contain the Ebola virus; Transcom, at Scott Air Force Base, managed in just 60 days to design and produce these units. Employees of the company building them worked weekends and holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This joint military-civilian effort shows a commitment to our service members, who don’t get a say when they are sent into high-risk areas. “And part of our obligation, in giving them orders, is to be able to take care of them,” Gen. Paul Selva said.
Good job of ensuring that can happen.