Employees donate to deploy mobile field hospital
The U.S. Army, Coast Guard and Air Force are employing helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and services provided by EADS companies for humanitarian operations in Haiti â€“ assisting the multinational efforts that have followed the Jan. 12 earthquake there.
â€œWe continue to be moved by the perseverance of the Haitian people in the face of this tragedy, and the amazing efforts of our uniformed services in assisting them,â€ said EADS North America Chief Executive Officer Sean Oâ€™Keefe. â€œWeâ€™re proud that our products in the hands of our customers are playing a role in that effort, and we hope that the contributions of EADS will have an equally positive impact.â€
EADS is matching employee donations to purchase and ship one of EADS Defense and Securityâ€™s TransHospital modular field hospitals, which will be handed over permanently to local health authorities in Haiti. A similar TransHospital was deployed to Mississippi in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, and was used to treat more than 5,000 patients. EADS is also supporting a series of humanitarian organizations from four different countries providing aid.
Airbus, the largest EADS division, sent an A340 jet to Haiti on Jan. 16, loaded with 20 tons of emergency cargo and seven members of an international rescue team. The plane then evacuated 80 people, including 16 children, to French Martinique.
Eurocopter, another EADS division, quickly mobilized an Ecureuil AS350B helicopter from the Dominican Republic. The aircraft is transporting physicians, medical equipment and other supplies, as well as performing medical evacuations day and night.
EADS Astriumâ€™s subsidiary Infoterra, which specializes in earth observation, provided satellite imagery that has been used to direct relief efforts, find useable landing zones for helicopters, and identify infrastructure where refugees could be housed or treated.
In addition to direct contributions from EADS, the U.S. Coast Guard, Army and Air Force are all employing EADS-produced aircraft and systems in the relief effort.
U.S. Coast Guard units were the first on scene in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, and their HH-65C Dolphin helicopters and HC-144A Maritime Patrol Aircraft have been involved in the relief work from the start.
According to the Coast Guard, in the opening days of this historic, large-scale relief effort, the HC-144A seamlessly shifted between its cargo transport and its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles by providing immediate logistics support and assessments of ports and other critical infrastructure, using its organic sensor capabilities. Three HC-144s from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., have logged more than 40 flight hours supporting the Haiti response.
The Ocean Sentries dispatched to Haiti are among eight HC-144As received by the Coast Guard to date as part of its recapitalization. The twin-engine aircraft is designed for maximum mission flexibility, and can quickly be reconfigured for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and passenger transport.
HH-65C and MH-65C Dolphin helicopters, from Air Station Detroit and Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville, Fla., have provided logistics and MEDEVAC support in the most devastated areas. The Dolphin has a distinguished service record with the Coast Guard â€“ including extensive rescue support in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The serviceâ€™s Dolphin helicopter fleet has been upgraded with new engines and systems/avionics in recapitalization programs supported by EADS North America.
Among the initial U.S. Army assets sent to Haiti were two UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters from the Puerto Rico National Guard.
The Lakota is well suited for disaster response duties, combining a large cabin with the ability to rapidly load/unload patients through rear clamshell doors while the rotors are turning. The UH-72Aâ€™s small overall footprint allows it to maneuver in close while producing less rotor wash than larger helicopters â€“ making operations safer in confined areas and small landing zones.
Also supporting the Haiti recovery efforts are Eagle Vision deployable ground stations operated by the Air National Guard, which are treating imagery data from commercial satellites to conduct damage assessments. By processing unclassified satellite imagery, the Eagle Vision stations are producing data that can be shared with emergency personnel and first responders, as well as disaster relief agencies.
The system also has been used in post-disaster responses following Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and California wildfires. The ground stations also have supported such military operations as Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Other EADS assets deployed to Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake include twin-engine tactical airlifters from the fleets of several foreign military services. The Brazilian Air Force and the Mexican Navy each sent C-295 aircraft; three CN-235s were dispatched from the French Armed Forcesâ€™ overseas transport squadron in the West Indies; and the Dominican Republic provided the services of a C-212.
About EADS North America
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.
[Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk crewmembers help carry a young Haitian girl on a stretcher to a Dolphin rescue helicopter where she will be airlifted to a local hospital for treatment of her serious leg injury Monday, January 18, 2010. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith)]
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