Standing inside of a C-17 feels like being in the belly of a whale. Ribs arch overhead, the vent conduits could be a circulatory system while cables trace across the walls and roof provide the nervous system of the beast.
Dulls colors prevail, a dusty green-grey paint, silver metal decks with charcoal skid strips, uninspiring black seats line the outer walls. Even the crew uniforms are dull, sand colored flight suits with subdued patches.
The only built-in spots of brightness are the yellow warning and hazard signs plastered in the appropriate places. Otherwise, think olive drab.
On a stratevac flight there is also the occasional spot of red-orange medical equipment. Ambulatory patients sit in the seats mentioned above. The litters for the serious ill and injured are held in stanchions, four sets on each side – up to three high in each location (yes, that is 20-24 litter patients). Looking like pieces of an erector set, the metal assemblies provide both bracing and conduits for power hook-ups.
Otherwise, the only bright, cheerfulness comes from the quilts which wrap each litter patient in warmth and comfort. All the colors and patterns convey love from the volunteers who are making quilts; letting those who are injured know that people care. Care enough to send their love across in the form of a quilt; effectively a hug, to combat that long dark transport from theater to Landstuhl.
(for further information – www.landstuhlhospitalcareproject.org )