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AAFB Spark Cell connects 'A Galaxy Far, Far Away' with 'Mobility's Hometown'

person holds lightsaber

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Yohannan, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels facilities operator, poses with the lightsaber he made at the Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma Spark Cell, April 30, 2021. Yohannan became fascinated with the iconic lightsaber after watching “Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back” with his father. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

person hold helmet

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Aidan Clark, 97th Training Squadron boom operator student, poses for a photo with his clone trooper helmet replica at Altus Air Force Base, April 30, 2021. Clark plans on creating more clone trooper and stormtrooper helmets with the 3D printers at Spark Cell. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

person with lightsaber

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Yohannan, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels facilities operator, demonstrates a jedi pose with his lightsaber at Altus Air Force Base, April 30, 2021. Yohannan perfects his lightsaber movements by watching videos online and practicing them repeatedly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

person puts tape on helmet

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Aidan Clark, 97th Training Squadron boom operator student, applies tape to a Star Wars clone trooper helmet replica at the Spark Cell at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, April 27, 2021. Clark’s father introduced him to Star Wars as a child, which eventually led to a passion for recreating stormtrooper props like helmets and blasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

man on a computer

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Yohannan, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels facilities operator, designs a lightsaber 3D print on a 3D modeling computer in the Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma Spark Cell, April 27, 2021. The Spark Cell was created by the Wing Innovation Advancement Center in order to encourage Airmen to be more creative and explore the ways that software, tools, technology and innovation could help solve larger Air Force problems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Senior Airman Aaron Yohannan, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels facilities operator, and Airman 1st Class Aidan Clark, 97th Training Squadron boom operator student, dedicate their free time to creating Star Wars lightsabers, helmets, and other replicas at the Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma Spark Cell.

The Spark Cell provides 3D printers, laser cutters, and other tools and services to help Airmen foster a culture of innovation and solve larger problems. Master Sgt. Joseph Royer, 97th Air Mobility Wing Spark Cell superintendent, guides Airmen through the process of creating innovative solutions and pitching their ideas to leadership.

“The Spark Cell gives Airmen hope that their ideas to solve problems are valid and a means to articulate them,” said Royer. “It gives them a space to test and develop physical objects and intangible objects like computer software. It gives them an avenue to create and implement lasting change.”

Both Yohannan and Clark became Star Wars fans at a young age, and are grateful for the opportunity to blend their love of the franchise with the innovative opportunities the Spark cell provides.

“My dad was watching (‘Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back’), and I immediately fell in love with the universe and with the lightsaber in particular,” said Yohannan. “The lightsaber is so iconic.”

“I'm really grateful that I have the opportunity to use this equipment,” said Clark. “All of these tools enable Airmen like me to just create, solve problems, design things and learn more about computers and technology.”

The Spark Cell is open 24/7 at the ARC to Airmen interested in taking advantage of the services and equipment provided at the facility.

ALTUS AFB FLICKR ALBUMS

Click on the link below to see all the photos from Altus AFB's official ceremonies.

Altus AFB Flickr Albums