An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Archives

NEWS | April 18, 2020

Colorado Air National Guard members sew masks in lieu of parachutes

By Maj. Kinder Blacke, 140th Wing Public Affairs CONG, TAG, 140

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Airmen of the Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing Aircrew Flight Equipment shop at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, volunteered to sew over 500 masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

These Airmen learn to sew in order to make parachutes and mend uniform items, explained the commander of the 140th Operations Support Squadron, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Kelly.

“We knew these skills could be used in a creative way based on the current personal protective equipment procurement issues and the CDC’s new recommendation for wearing face coverings in public,” Kelly said.

Based on the CDC guidance, these non-medical, cloth face masks are able to be produced at home with some fabric, elastic, and a sewing machine.

“Sewing is a lost art and only a few members actually have the ability to operate a sewing machine,” Kelly said. He then proposed the idea to the AFE team.

“When our commander asked if we could help, we agreed that we could manufacture 500 masks for our community,” U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jared McCartney, superintendent of aircrew flight equipment, 140 OSS, said. “We recognize that sewing is a critical skill in the current pandemic where masks are in high demand and short supply, and we could help!”

“AFE is one of those niche career fields that provides commanders added flexibility to provide capabilities where, normally, they wouldn’t exist,” McCartney explained. “Sewing masks at a time when there is a national shortage is one such occasion where we conveniently have the required skillset.”

The team had to source material from around the country to meet the requirements, and began working in 2-person teams to cut, assemble and sew the masks together, McCartney said. “Of course we have to have a plan that minimizes our own exposure and maintains social distancing.”

Since each mask takes at least twenty minutes to create, the entire 9-member shop, plus three volunteers from the intelligence team, combined forces.

“I am extremely proud of the AFE shop for stepping up to the plate and offering their skills,” Kelly said. “They all came together, developed a process, and quickly implemented it.”

“We have two members working on base every day, while concurrently, multiple members are sewing masks at home on their personal machines,” McCartney said. “Even a few former members of the Aircrew Flight Equipment team have provided manpower, and other wing members have offered up their personal sewing machines to help accomplish the task.”

A major reason that many Colorado Guard members joined the National Guard rather than the Active Duty is that they wanted to have the opportunity to serve our local community, McCartney said. “Everyone involved in this mission has an extreme sense of pride in accomplishing this task and providing vital supplies to our fellow Airmen and our community,” he said.

February 2024 (1)
January 2024 (3)
December 2023 (5)
November 2023 (3)
October 2023 (6)
September 2023 (2)
August 2023 (3)
July 2023 (6)
June 2023 (4)
May 2023 (6)
April 2023 (2)
March 2023 (2)
February 2023 (2)
January 2023 (6)
December 2022 (5)
November 2022 (5)
October 2022 (2)
September 2022 (7)
August 2022 (5)
July 2022 (3)
June 2022 (7)
May 2022 (3)
April 2022 (4)
March 2022 (3)
February 2022 (4)
January 2022 (5)
December 2021 (7)
November 2021 (3)
October 2021 (2)
September 2021 (2)
August 2021 (6)
July 2021 (4)
June 2021 (1)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (5)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (2)
January 2021 (3)
December 2020 (3)
November 2020 (7)
October 2020 (6)
September 2020 (6)
August 2020 (8)
July 2020 (9)
June 2020 (7)
May 2020 (10)
April 2020 (9)
March 2020 (2)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (6)
November 2019 (2)
October 2019 (8)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (7)
July 2019 (5)
June 2019 (2)
May 2019 (6)
April 2019 (9)
March 2019 (2)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (3)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (6)
October 2018 (2)
September 2018 (3)
August 2018 (9)
July 2018 (1)
June 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
April 2018 (5)
October 2017 (1)
May 2017 (1)
April 2017 (2)
March 2017 (2)
February 2017 (3)
January 2017 (1)
November 2016 (1)
October 2016 (2)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
May 2016 (2)
April 2016 (3)
March 2016 (1)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
November 2015 (3)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (2)
August 2015 (1)
July 2015 (1)
June 2015 (2)
May 2015 (3)
March 2015 (1)
February 2015 (1)
October 2014 (1)
September 2014 (1)
June 2014 (1)
April 2014 (1)
May 2013 (1)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (8)
February 2013 (9)
January 2013 (7)
November 2012 (1)
April 2012 (2)
January 2012 (1)
March 2010 (1)