(WIAT) — The U.S. armed forces will soon use medical pods manufactured by Delta divisions to safely bring home deployed members who have contracted COVID-19 or been exposed to other infectious agents.
Teams from Delta’s Technical Operations division and wholly owned subsidiary Delta Flight Products combined their advanced manufacturing capabilities to begin converting dozens of single-use, 40-foot shipping containers into rapidly deployable, reusable hospital care pods. Each pod is designed to attach inside military transport aircraft. The program is in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, UTS Systems and Highland Engineering.
“We are proud to be a part of a project that will directly help save the lives of those who fight for us every day,” Don Mitacek – Delta’s Senior Vice President – Technical Operations, said. “The contract requires a highly-skilled team with flexibility to deliver on a tight timeline, and Delta is uniquely qualified to deliver.”
The pods are outfitted with negative pressure compartments featuring HEPA filtration to help prevent the spread of pathogens, as well as a compartment housing the appropriate number of seats and litters – specialized military stretchers. The pods fit up to 32 seats that can be replaced with litters based on health needs of military members.
The partners delivered an initial prototype to the U.S. military last week. Following review, the team expects to deliver 25 units in the coming months, with the opportunity for an additional 50. The group of contractors and engineers moved quickly to source materials, develop a project plan and mobilize teams to meet the aggressive timeline.
“Across our many teams, our Delta people have quickly shifted their focus to apply skills to meet whatever need our partners or our communities have. The entire Delta family is humbled by and proud of their efforts,” Mike Moore – Delta’s Senior Vice President – Maintenance Operations and MRO Services, said.
The project is the latest in Delta’s work to support members of the military. As of 2019, over 13,000 Delta employees are serving or have served in the armed forces. At Delta Flight Products and TechOps, a number of employee veterans are lending support to the ongoing project.