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Vegas Stronger Champion: Nellis Air Force base producing face shields for hospitals

Nellis Air Force base producing face shields for hospital workers with 3D printers
Posted at 9:53 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 14:48:05-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As our city deals with the impact of COVID-19, our neighbors at Nellis Air Force base have gotten creative in the ways they respond to critical need and serve our community.

"I joined to serve, help and I like to be able to use my abilities to actually help people," said Technical Sergeant Matthew Bobbitt, a resource advisor for the 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. In the role, he manages supplies, finances and other resources, including the squadron's 3D printers.

Just last week, Sergeant Bobbitt heard through his chain of command that other bases around the country were using the technology to produce face shields for medical providers - one of many things in high demand as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic. Bobbitt did some research, found a model from the Institute of Health's website and started producing face shields.

"I'm going to say it's simple to me, but probably not to other people," said Sergeant Bobbitt. "Basically it's an actual three dimensional model and then you put it into a program, if feeds it into a printer and then the printer goes through and actually makes the part."

Sergeant Bobbitt said it takes three hours to make one shield, but with three printers in house, he said they can turn out about 12 every four to five hours. The shields are already being used by the 99th Medical Group on base and soon, if requested, the Air Force may be able to send more to the State Emergency Management Agency, which can distribute to hospitals based on need.

I'm always glad to help no matter what the situation is," said Sergeant Bobbitt.

Filling a critical need in a time of crisis is what Sergeant Bobbitt and his fellow airmen and women do. Serving our country and community is their motivation. That's why they are our Vegas Stronger Champions.

Vegas Stronger Champion is sponsored by Findlay Automotive.