VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The U.S. Air Force is continuously looking for innovative Airmen to step up and create solutions to the everyday problems that the force may face. Maj. Jonathan Wavell, Combined Force Space Components Command targets chief, is one of those Airmen who innovated a hobby into a way to assist the installation.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Wavell took to 3-D printing with hopes that the tools he would create might be able to help his community.
Wavell was originally introduced to 3-D printing at a previous duty station. For him, it was a unique avenue to use his skills of building and creating to provide for those in need.
Once the need for masks and face shields arose, he knew he wanted to put his skill to good use. With the help of the Vandenberg Air Force Base Library 3-D printing shop, Wavell was able to make mask extenders and face shields for different organizations and frontline workers across the installation.
“Maj. Wavell has been providing face shields for us for about a month,” said Maj. Aubrey Reid, 30th Medical Group nurse. “It has been a wonderfully innovative gift and we can’t thank him enough.”
For frontline workers at the 30th MDG, face shields have been an integral piece of safety equipment, offering additional protection from one of the riskiest things they do, COVID-19 testing.
“When testing for COVID, droplets can be produced from coughing,” said Reid. “The tester is
in direct line of those droplets and the face shields help to keep the droplets off the staff.”
In addition to the masks he has provided to the 30th MDG, Wavell has also donated mask extenders to the 30th Space Wing headquarters, Commissary and Base Exchange workers, and the Combined Space Operations Center.
“I’ve made over 200 extenders so far,” said Wavell. “I have worked to create more components, as I am in the process of separating and want to ensure they can continue to support the base community and its personal protective equipment needs.”
According to Wavell, for members who would like to get involved with 3-D printing as a hobby or to help create personal protective equipment, the Vandenberg AFB Library is the place to start. The 3-D printers are available for individuals who would like to learn more and create items, verses having to spend a large amount of money to test a 3-D printer out for themselves.
For Wavell, being able to turn his innovative skills of 3-D printing into an avenue to provide for the base was a no brainer, and it’s something that anyone can do.
To help continue Wavell’s work of making PPE for base members, contact the base Library at 805-606-6414.