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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

Dover Air Force Base takes on new role in COVID-19 response

Senior Airman Christopher Quail
U.S. Air Force
Airmen cover two Transport Isolation Systems with tarps due to inclement weather at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, April 30, 2020. The TIS units were delivered to Dover AFB by C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

Dover Air Force Base is increasing its role in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

The base is serving as the East Coast hub for Transport Isolation Systems decontamination in the United States.

Dover Air Force Base was selected because of its strategic location, assets, and capabilities.

Trained medical Airmen will support and decontaminate TIS units whose aircrews are conducting COVID-19 positive patient transport missions from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East to the United States.

The TIS emerged as a result of mobility requirements identified during Operation United Assistance in support of the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

Master Sgt. John White is the spokesperson with 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, and he explains the function of the TIS units.

"TIS units provide aeromedical evacuation or AE solution to safely transport warfighters who contracted highly contagious infectious diseases," said Master Sgt. White. "The TIS design allows for AE  personnel and aircrew to transport these individuals while minimizing the risk of exposure within enclosure that separates patients from aircrew."

White adds the units will get decontaminated at the base before going back on a mission.

"Dover Air Force Base Delaware is currently the East Coast decontamination hub for TIS modules thanks to its strategic location, existing assets, and maintenance capabilities," said Master Sgt White. "Following operational missions carrying patients aircrew will bring the TIS modules to Dover Air Force Base where they will be decontaminated prior to returning to follow on mission."

The team is composed of members of six different units from across the country, and they arrived at Dover Air Force Base on April 30.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.
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