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Pentagon building units to transport Ebola patients (Phoenix Air)

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posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 04:46 PM

As more U.S. troops head to West Africa, the Pentagon is developing portable isolation units that can carry up to 12 Ebola patients for transport on military planes.

The Pentagon says it does not expect it will need the units for 3,000 U.S. troops heading to the region to combat the virus because military personnel will not be treating Ebola patients directly. Instead, the troops are focusing on building clinics, training personnel and testing patient blood samples for Ebola.

"We want to be prepared to care for the people we do have there just out of an abundance of caution," Defense Department spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said. She said prototypes would be tested in the next month before being deployed in the field by January.

The Pentagon's transportation system will allow the Air Force to use C-17 or C-130 transport planes to carry up to eight patients on stretchers or 12 patients who are able to walk, said Charles Bass, a Defense Department chemical engineer working on the project. Elzea said the cost of the units couldn't be provided as the final contract for the project is still under negotiation.

Bass, a former Army officer, said the units are key to providing peace of mind to U.S. troops in Africa. "It's important when you're on deployment that you feel that someone has your back," he said. "(It) adds confidence to the people who are deployed."

Phoenix Air, which currently offers the only medically approved means of carrying Ebola patients at a cost of $200,000 a flight, has flown more than a dozen missions since late July, said Dent Thompson, company vice president of operations. That includes flights carrying three people infected with Ebola — physician Kent Brantly, missionary Nancy Writebol and cameraman Ashoka Mukpo — from Africa to the United States. The company also has carried other patients or those exposed to the virus to Europe and within the USA, Thompson added.

Phoenix Air handles emergency Ebola flights, including for the U.S. military, through a contract with the U.S. State Department. Non-governmental groups seeking the service reimburse the U.S. government for Phoenix Air services, Thompson said.

Lucidity and other members have pointed out some interesting holes in the flights made by Phoenix Air. VP Dent Thompson confirms they're on to something being off about the number of ebola patients being flown around the US not adding up.

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 04:56 PM
a reply to: JG1993

Yet again, we see that phrase... 'abundance of caution. I wish they were so cautious about letting people from the hot zone into the US.... at least some states are taking action.

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 04:59 PM
Well I'm glad someone is taking the threat seriously. Maybe we need boots on the ground in the senate.

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 05:24 PM
a reply to: butcherguy

Haha butch I smirked when I read the phrase. Czar Rule #1.

posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 04:48 AM
Yeah definitely something going on with the numbers of those flights...makes me wonder if it coincides with reports in other threads of people going missing after going to the hospital etc.

posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 06:29 AM
So does this mean even more contracts for Phoenix Air from the DoD?

They just got one in mid-September from DoS. See this thread here....

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