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NEWS | May 1, 2020

Air Force Chief Of Staff and Senior Enlisted Advisor visit Joint Base Charleston

By Senior Airman Cody R. Miller Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright visited Joint Base Charleston, SC, April 30, 2020 to meet with base leaders and observe some of the systems and programs used to address the current COVID-19 health concerns around the world.

Goldfein and Wright visited the Airmen currently training and working on the Transport Isolation System, which is designed to provide aeromedical evacuation for patients with known or suspected exposure to a contagious or infectious disease, while protecting the aircraft and aircrew. The TIS was originally designed for the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and is now used to assist in the Department of Defense's COVID-19 response.

The training for aeromedical evacuation personnel goes from initial donning and doffing protocols for personal protective equipment to the actual patient transport and care. This can include treating simulated patients at the “infection scene” all the way to securing them within the TIS, and even taking part in a simulated inflight transport.

The senior leaders also visited the Palmetto Spark, JB Charleston's innovation cell, which has used innovative solutions to secure protective gear for non-medical use and even produced hand sanitizer for the other base units as a precaution against COVID-19. The Palmetto Spark team is composed of Airmen from across JB Charleston, and their mission is to enable Airmen to solve problems they face day-to-day.

“Our job as leaders is to plant seeds of innovation within Airmen,” said Goldfein. “It can sometimes be hard to tell when one of those seeds hits rock or soil. It’s amazing to see one of these seeds take root and develop into a great program here.”

The Palmetto Spark is one of many innovation-focused programs senior leaders have encouraged to be utilized within Air Mobility Command. Another example is the AMC Phoenix Spark Campaign, which has the goal of promoting innovation from within Air Force units.