Tobyhanna Army Depot partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Wilkes-Barre last week to assure front line staff were protected as they care for America’s Veterans.The clinical staff at the VAMC utilize Power Air Purifier Respirators (PAPRs) for protection when treating patients with airborne illnesses, such as COVID-19.The PAPRs were purchased for emergent situations and not intended for long term use.  The equipment was recently pressed into service and soon required replacement parts, normally available within just a few days.  With the supply chain impacted by the pandemic, replacement parts were not readily accessible.“We realized we needed parts and we were unable to obtain them for at least 6-8 weeks,” said William Feher, an industrial hygienist at the VAMC’s Wilkes-Barre location. “As a veteran myself, I was familiar with Tobyhanna and figured we’d reach out to see how they could help.”Depot personnel rapidly responded and used a 3D printer to create the needed parts in just two days. While the 3D printing capability is normally reserved for prototyping, engineering staff were able to quickly pivot to produce the necessary components.Robert VanBrunt took the lead on reviewing the broken parts, creating a 3D model, and subsequently producing the needed parts using additive manufacturing. VanBrunt is a mechanical engineering technician in the Production Engineering directorate.“Traditionally, our 3D printer has helped our workforce better support the Warfighter. This week, it helped healthcare workers, who ironically have turned into Warfighters themselves. Our entire team here is enthusiastic about supporting this important mission.”Michael Vivlemore, chief of the Depot’s Design, Development and Fabrication Engineering Division, says the partnership served an important purpose.“Everyone has been looking for ways to help during this trying time,” he said. “This was an excellent way to get involved and helping an organization as important as the VA was an added bonus.”The Depot and VAMC are already discussing future opportunities to support each other, strengthening their partnership and the mission of both organizations for the future.