Altus AFB Airmen to produce masks for Covid-19

9 April 2020 (Last Updated April 9th, 2020 15:21)

More than 45 Airmen and dependents at the 97th Air Mobility Wing have volunteered to produce and distribute face masks throughout the wing at Altus Air Force Base (AFB) to fight Covid-19.

Altus AFB Airmen to produce masks for Covid-19
More than 45 Airmen and dependents from the 97th Air Mobility Wing have volunteered to produce and distribute face masks throughout the wing at Altus Air Force Base. Credit: US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm.

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More than 45 airmen and dependents at the 97th Air Mobility Wing have volunteered to produce and distribute face masks throughout the wing at Altus Air Force Base (AFB) to fight Covid-19.

This volunteering work started after the US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper released guidelines on the use of cloth face coverings.

The masks are made out of donated fabrics, which included cotton, common sewing cloth and old uniforms.

Measured, cut and sewed in three days, they are designed in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

A 48-hour pause has been enacted by 97th Air Mobility Wing commander Matthew Leard to find ways to distribute masks to airmen. The volunteers continue to sew face masks for airmen.

USAF 97th Operation Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment flight chief assigned to the Master sergeant Robert Whisenhunt said: “I came up with the idea of making our own masks on Friday, and by Saturday we started experimenting on which version of the masks would be the most effective.”

In a separate development, the US Air Force’s (USAF) new combat search and rescue helicopter HH-60W Jolly Green II has concluded a month-long trial of extremes inside the McKinley Climatic Lab.

The helicopter endured extreme temperatures and winds of 45mph coupled with heavy rainfall. The scenarios were created within the lab’s test chamber to evaluate the operational sustainability of the Sikorsky test aircraft.

On completion of the tests, the HH-60W will return to Sikorsky’s test facility in West Palm Beach for further evaluation.

The evaluation programme is a joint effort between Sikorsky, the 413th FLTS, the 88th TES and Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center.