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Released: Apr. 9, 2003

Fabrication flight builds new tent prototype, saves thousands

By Staff Sgt. Robert Zoellner
33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (ACCNS) -- The 33rd Maintenance Squadron fabrication flight stepped up to the challenge when asked to construct a prototype large capacity collective protection liner.

The Air Armament Center Combat Support Systems Program Office requested a prototype liner able to protect 80-100 people from the effects of chemical and biological agents. While form, fit and design of the liner will vary, the functionality would not. This prototype will save the government around $100,000.

The prototype is being designed for a shelter that will be used at bare base locations worldwide to provide toxic-free rest and relief areas for the warfighters operating under chemical and/or biological environments, said Don Johnson, a senior engineer at Sverdrup. The liner will be installed in an Air Force Medium Shelter System, a fabric tensioned building, which has 1,500 square feet of usable floor space.

The plans the fabrication flight received called for the first of two prototypes to be 29 feet wide by 26 feet long with a height of 10 feet. A second liner prototype, currently being manufactured, will connect up with the first prototype creating a toxic free area of approximately 1500 square feet.

"We made big stuff here before but nothing this big," said Staff Sgt. Richard Songy, parachute and fabrication journeyman.

Together with Staff Sgt. Marcus Kelley, the swing shift's supervisor, and the entire fabrication team, the airmen worked together to develop a plan for the prototypes.

"After a little explaining from the contractor it was real easy to get started," said Sergeant Songy. ""I knew we could do it, it was just a matter of getting our people to come together on the same project."

The AAC Combat Support Systems Program Office supplied all the material and purchased a long-arm sewing machine for the project.

"Our (sewing) machines just weren't large enough for this type of project," Sergeant Kelley said.

The material cutting and sewing began the beginning of October and should be completed this month

AAC Combat Support Systems Program Office will deliver the finished prototype to the 311th Human Systems Wing at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, for final production decision and contract award.

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