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Polish military observes NPCL training

Polish army and air force members observe U.S. Air Force Airmen conducting Negatively Pressured Conex Lite training

Polish military members observe U.S. Air Force Airmen conducting Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite training on the flightline at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 28, 2021. The Polish military visited as a joint U.S. NATO NPCL demonstration to train with U.S. Forces and share knowledge on the equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)

Members of the Polish army and air force observe U.S. Air Force Airmen conducting Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite training

Members of the Polish army and air force observe U.S. Air Force Airmen conducting Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite training on a C-130 Hercules aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 28, 2021. Polish military personnel visited as a joint NPCL demonstration to train with U.S. forces to share knowledge on the equipment and enhance U.S. and Polish relations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sarah Amato puts on a Tyvek suit

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sarah Amato, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron air medical evacuation technician, puts on a Tyvek suit at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 28, 2021. Tyvek suits are used while decontaminating a Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite to protect those decontaminating it from contracting an infectious disease such as COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)

U.S. Air Force Airmen put on personal protection equipment for Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite training

U.S. Air Force Maj. Beverly Meister, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Flowers, 86th AES aeromedical evacuation technician, don personal protection equipment at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 28, 2021. Members of the 86th AES conducted training on contamination and decontamination, airway emergencies and precautions to help keep everyone safe during an aeromedical evacuation. Additionally, members from the Polish army and air force visited Ramstein to observe Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)

U.S. Air Force Airman attaches ratchet straps to a stretcher

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sarah Amato, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron air medical evacuation technician, attaches ratchet straps to a stretcher on a C-130 Hercules aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 27, 2021. Stretchers were used as a part in different scenarios for Negatively Pressured Conex Lite training to increase 86 AES Airmen's readiness for taking care of COVID-19 patients properly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Frederick Broussard sets up oxygen lines in a Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Frederick Broussard, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron air medical evacuation technician, sets up oxygen lines in a Negatively Pressured Conex Lite at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 27, 2021. The NPCL is used for transporting patients who have contracted COVID-19 and keeps those involved safe from contracting it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)

U.S. Air Force Airman simulates taking someone's vitals during a scenario for Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite training

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sarah Amato, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron air medical evacuation technician, simulates taking U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Frederick Broussard's, 86 AES air medical evacuation technician, vitals during Negatively Pressured Conex Lite training at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 27, 2021. The NPCL is used to transport COVID-19 patients and reduce the spread of the infectious virus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)

Polish army Lt. looks out of a window overlooking the flightline while visiting Ramstein Air Base, Germany, for Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite training

Polish army Lt. Jakub Sobolewski, Inspectorate for Armed Forces Support (Medical Division) physician and specialist), looks out of a window overlooking the flightline at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 27, 2021. The Polish military visited Ramstein Air Base to observe Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite, used to transport COVID-19 patients, training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --

Members of the Polish army and air force visited Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to observe the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron conduct Negatively Pressurized Conex Lite training July 27, 2021.

The Polish military saw the training and NPCL demonstration as an opportunity to learn more about the equipment and train with U.S. forces.

“In the face of the pandemic of COVID-19, it’s become quite apparent that the need for medical support from the military is a crucial part of our duty,” said Polish army Lt. Jakub Sobolewski, Inspectorate for Armed Forces Support Medical Division physician and specialist. “We decided that it would be in our best interest to improve our capabilities of medical evacuation, especially for potentially contagious personnel.”

The NPCL was developed as a compact, lightweight version of the Negatively Pressurized Conex. It provides aeromedical care for patients with communicable diseases, including COVID-19, on aircraft with smaller cargo bays.

“The NPCL is very important,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Justin Stein, a flight nurse assigned to the 86th AES. “It is not applicable only to COVID, but to any viruses or infectious diseases.”

The technology utilizes a negative pressure blower system to circulate clean air between the NPCL and aircraft to minimize transmission of disease to aircrew while transporting patients.

Members of the 86th AES conducted training on contamination and decontamination of the NPCL, airway emergencies and precautions to help keep everyone safe during an aeromedical evacuation.

Polish military doctors and flight nurses partnered with 86th AES Airmen to gain the experience necessary for an efficient evacuation of those infected with COVID-19.

Joint trainings like these strengthen Ramstein Airmen’s relationships with NATO partners and maintain readiness regarding current aeromedical procedures in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The purpose of the Polish [army and air force] coming to observe what we do is looking at information sharing as a NATO ally,” Stein said. “The exercise has gone very well. We are also training our own members and making sure they are certified to take care of COVID patients and this exercise has made us much more confident to provide care safely in the air.”