Latin American armed forces are using their training and ingenuity to help create, build, and adapt structures and vehicles to confront the pandemic. The following are examples of the work of some countries, based on public information from their respective armed forces.
Elements of the Argentine Navy and Air Force built an isolation and medical assistance center at Buenos Aires Naval Station in 40 days. The Scientific and Technical Research Defense Institute manufactures masks and face shields for health personnel, using 3D printers.
The Armed Forces are also making sanitizing gel, masks for citizens, surgical wear, and bed linens for public hospitals.
The Brazilian Navy and the University of São Paulo have developed a low-cost emergency ventilator to help rehabilitate COVID-19 patients. In addition, the Brazilian Air Force and the Aeronautics Institute of Technology developed equipment that detects coronavirus in the air and set up portable hygiene centers for handwashing in public areas. They also manufacture protective masks and spare parts for the ventilators used at intensive care units.
The Chilean Army Factory and Armory has temporarily modified its gunpowder factory to manufacture liquid and gel hand sanitizers for Army facilities that are available to the community.
The Army also created a UV-disinfectant system and a programmable, portable solar sensory light to control security tasks. It also designed and made sanitizing tunnels for highly contagious areas, and it created sanitary booths for sample collection and examination.
The Chilean Marine Corps contributes to the transfer of COVID-19 patients in specially equipped vehicles. Navy tailors make protective equipment for health personnel.
The Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) has refurbished a C-295 aircraft to transfer infected patients, with two intensive care units and support equipment on board.
Two noncommissioned technicians from the FAC’s Military Aviation Academy designed and built an isolation chamber to transfer patients with acute respiratory illnesses.
The Army’s lab was adapted to process coronavirus tests for service members, equipment transport, and construction of several structures for mobile hospitals devoted to COVID-19 cases.
The Peruvian Navy developed the first artificial ventilation equipment in the country, and it refurbishes ventilators at its Weapons and Electronic Services workshops, to assist critical patients.
Air Force troops trained in the United States and Canada in aircraft maintenance and manufacturing developed in-hospital isolation chambers for highly contagious diseases, using fire-resistant aeronautical material.