EATC’s Aeromedical Evacuation Control Center (AECC) accepted resolutely the extraordinary Covid-19 challenge for the national air forces and their units, for air mobility in general and for the EATC staff.
Let’s see behind the curtains of AECC with Dr Colonel Eberhard Limpricht, Head AECC.
Doctor Limpricht, can you provide us a brief insight into EATC’s medical evacuations of infected patients?
Since March 2020, EATC has organised the aeromedical evacuation of more than 250 COVID-19 infected military and civilian patients. Moreover we mastered successfully the challenge of safely transporting infected persons with minimum risk for patients as well as for aircrew or medical crew.
EATC’s aeromedical evacuation system is a tremendous morale booster for our deployed troops. Cross-national missions of the air forces’ medical evacuation fleet under EATC’s operational control have proven to be an effective tool to cope with the current pandemic challenges.
AECC’s commitment went far beyond operational missions. Can you outline AECC’s support for the air forces and their units to address challenges caused by the pandemic?
When the first missions for aeromedical evacuation of COVID-19 patients needed to be planned by EATC, AECC established new rules for safe handling of infected persons based on the aeromedical expertise within our branch. Providing aeromedical advice on the planning and conducting of medical evacuation missions for infected persons was a new and big challenge and had to be mastered in parallel to the this year’s more than 900 repatriation requests for non-COVID 19 patients.
How does AECC support the EATC commander in his intent to reduce the risk of further spread of infection at the headquarters?
AECC contributes to the combined efforts within EATC to avoid a possible spreading of the virus with our staff. As an example, we provide comprehensive weekly medical situation updates to the EATC command group.
We also give medical advice when decisions have to be made regarding protective or reactive measures. We are in a situation of overall increasing rates of positively tested and hospitalised persons in the seven EATC member nations. It is of utmost importance to keep the EATC headquarters a safe and COVID free working place and to continue being operational.