HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen, volunteers at Altus AFB unite to create masks to fight COVID-19

photo

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jamie Almquist, the 54th Air Refueling Squadron additional duty first sergeant, tears fabric that will later be used to make face masks, April 6, 2020, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. While the mask-making effort was entirely voluntary, Altus leaders are taking additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to include acquiring protective equipment from outside sources. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

photo

U.S. Air Force Maj. DeAndra Price-Newby, the 97th MDG Dental flight commander (left) and U.S. Air Force Capt. Tyler George, the 54th Air Refueling Squadron chief of plans, work together to cut fabric for face masks, April 6, 2020, at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The masks were made out of donated fabrics, which included materials like cotton, common sewing cloth and old uniforms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

photo

Members of the 97th Operations Support Squadron, Air Crew Flight Equipment (AFE) flight, assemble facemasks for base members, April 6, 2020 at Altus Air Force Base Okla. AFE and other base volunteers have been working to assemble facemasks for individuals who work in areas that make it difficult to practice proper social distancing in order to prevent the spread of disease. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kenneth W. Norman)

photo

Master Sgt. Robert Whisenhunt, the Flight Chief of Aircrew Flight Equipment assigned to the 97th Operations Support Squadron, sews facemasks for base members, April 6, 2020, at Altus Air Force Base Okla. Whisenhunt had the idea to use the equipment and skills of the AFE flight to assemble protective face masks for base members that work in close proximity with others and are required to wear masks based on a new directive from the Secretary of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kenneth W. Norman)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. (AFNS) --

​After Secretary of Defense Mark Esper released new guidance on the use of cloth face coverings on April 5, more than 45 Airmen and dependents from the 97th Air Mobility Wing volunteered to quickly create and distribute face masks throughout the wing April 6 at Altus Air Force Base.

Since some Airmen work in areas that make it difficult to practice social distancing, Col. Matthew Leard, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander, enacted a 48-hour pause to find ways to obtain and distribute masks to Airmen. The volunteers are now working to sew face masks for Airmen to wear in these situations.

“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,” said Master Sgt. Robert Whisenhunt, the Aircrew Flight Equipment flight chief assigned to the 97th Operation Support Squadron. “On Sunday, my volunteer team and I came in from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. and produced (more than) 50 masks for the Airmen working at the dining facility.”

Whisenhunt explained before 2006, sewing was one of the primary duties of AFE. Once the squadron recognized the need for face masks, more than 10 Airmen immediately volunteered to sew masks. Along with AFE Airmen, others from the 97th Medical Group, 97th Wing Staff Agency, 54th Air Refueling Squadron, 97th OSS and more than 20 spouses teamed up within their squadrons to rotate shifts or individually craft more than 3,000 masks for Airmen across the base.

“Sewing is really found in the bread and butter of AFE, and these types of projects cover things of that nature,” he said. “As soon as it became apparent that masks would soon be needed across base, it was almost like an automatic reaction to volunteer our skill set for this job.”

The masks were made out of donated fabrics, which included materials like cotton, common sewing cloth and old uniforms. Within the span of three days, the volunteer teams measured, cut and sewed masks that will be dispersed throughout the 97th AMW.

“During this time, every one of us has a different job that will help the bigger picture,” said Maj. DeAndra Price-Newby, 97th MDG Dental flight commander. “I spent my time today helping measure and cut the fabric while helping coordinate the efforts that the Airmen and families of the medical group are putting into this project.”

Although handmade, the masks are designed in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to fit most faces and prevent the spread of germs, thus helping keep Airmen healthy and mission ready.

“This is a time when we really need to come together and help our wingmen,” Price-Newby said. “Making these masks is a concerted effort across squadrons to make sure all of our Airmen have the appropriate personal protective equipment to keep themselves and others healthy.”

97th AMW leaders will continue to implement measures to mitigate the risk and spread of COVID-19 to ensure the base's mission of training exceptional mobility Airmen continues on safely. Moving forward, individuals on DoD installations will wear cloth face coverings that are conservative in nature when they cannot maintain proper social distancing in public areas or work centers. For further guidance, read the latest guidance on face coverings here.

Engage

Twitter
Twitter
The 786th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team trained using an F6 Alpha EOD robot to disarm a… https://t.co/6zwlp7MQOD
Twitter
In this episode of Inside AFIMSC, - Maj Gen Wilcox holds the center’s first virtual Commander’s Call, - Alpha Warr… https://t.co/BAmtJQX9Ua
Twitter
RT @HQAirUniversity: In our forth video of a 5-part series, AU's Director of Strategic Leadership Communication, discusses his 4 C’s of lea…
Twitter
RT @NASA: Docking confirmed! @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug officially docked to the @Space_Station at 10:16am ET: https://t.co/hCM4UvbwjR
Twitter
RT @NASA_TDRS: Dragon has docked! Crewed Dragon, with @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug on board, are connected to @Space_Station, with @NASA’s…
Twitter
Rise and shine! A KC-46 Pegasus at Altus AFB as the 97th Air Mobility Wing prepares to conduct a severe weather e… https://t.co/QBT5nuXMqx
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: An amazing story of resilience & grit sure to inspire you! Airman Shannon Busch triumphed over incredible odds to graduate…
Twitter
.@HQAirUniversity's Holm Center Chaplain's thoughts on distance. #ReadyAF #COVID19 #Resilient https://t.co/svDFNqIqNX
Twitter
U.S. Air Force Capt. Kristoffer Wiese, 480th Fighter Squadron pilot, holds his F-16 Fighting Falcon in position whi… https://t.co/Yb1RX4fUKn
Twitter
RT @1stAF: .@1stAF's #AFRCC assisted with the #rescue of an injured person from an ATV accident. #RescueAirmen from the #58thRQS and #66thR
Twitter
Multinational, multiservice joint integration training of Agile Combat Employment concepts between the USAF,… https://t.co/Jdi2BKcwlQ
Twitter
We’re back. 🇺🇸 #AimHigh https://t.co/FUVpIOM06K
Twitter
RT @NASAKennedy: After a successful launch at 3:22 p.m. ET, @SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft with @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug onboard is…
Twitter
RT @AF_SBIR_STTR: During a @T_W_Enterprise event, Salvo Technologies demonstrated how their technology could benefit the warfighter by deve…
Twitter
RT @NASA: LIVE NOW: #LaunchAmerica, Take 2. 🎬 Watch as @NASA_Astronauts fly to the @Space_Station from U.S. soil for the first time in nine…
Twitter
#SafetyFirst! @22ARW shows how to perform motorcycle safety. #ReadyAF https://t.co/VEEmq4CkVm
Twitter
Taking care of our Airmen! #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/6SrkNxXoUv
Twitter
RT @CitizenAirman: The June 2020 issue of Citizen Airman Magazine is online now! - https://t.co/wScm3DZIFq #ReserveReady #ReserveResilient
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,229,732
Follow Us