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HOWELL, Mich., April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Highland Engineering, Inc. has partnered with defense contractor UTS Systems and Delta Air Lines (Delta Flight Products) to convert dozens of single-use, 40-foot shipping containers into rapidly-deployable, reusable hospital care pods that attach inside military transport aircraft as part of the global effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When the United States military puts out the call to answer a complex challenge to help our servicemembers, HEI has been proud to answer that call for 25 years,” said Ralph Beebe – President of Highland Engineering, Inc. “As a Michigan-based company, the opportunity to partner with Delta Air Lines to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic was one we jumped at, in addition to our wonderful lead partner at UTS,” Beebe added.

“Crisis is our business. We are thrilled to work with HEI and Delta on this innovative, mission-tailored solution just as we have done for the past two decades,” said Tom Eggers – CEO of UTS Systems. “We all care deeply about the mission and those willing to sacrifice it all to keep us safe. UTS is proud to play a small part in protecting those who protect us,” Eggers said.

Early this week, in just two weeks from award, the partners delivered an initial prototype of the Negatively Pressured Conex (NPC) to the U.S. military at Joint Base Charleston. Following review, the UTS/HEI/Delta team expects to deliver 25 units in the coming months, with the opportunity for an additional 50. The group of contractors and engineers moved quickly to source materials, develop a project plan and mobilize teams to meet the aggressive timeline. 

“This capability will ensure USTRANSCOM has the flexibility to meet both the capacity and modularity challenges of COVID-19 patient transport while ensuring the safety of Aircrew and Medical Professionals on these missions,” said Lt. Col. Paul Hendrickson, Materiel Leader for U.S. Air Force CBRN Defense Systems Branch, PEO ACS and NPC team lead. 

Developed in response to a Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) from United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM); the NPC will be fitted to fly on the C-17 and C-5 fleet and will allow for the safe transport of COVID-19-impacted passengers in the upcoming months.

About UTS Systems:

UTS Systems is a small business located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. We have worked diligently over the past 14 years to develop technologies that improve the Chemical and Biological (CB) Defense mission. More at: https://uts-systems.com/

About HEI:

Highland Engineering, Inc. (HEI) was founded in 1986 – and has become one of the leading small business suppliers of Ground Support Equipment to the Department of Defense. We have delivered thousands of units through the years to the Department of Defense, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and foreign allied countries as well. More at: https://www.high-eng.com/

SOURCE Highland Engineering, Inc.

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