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    Pa. National Guard Soldiers produce masks for COVID-19 response

    Pa. National Guard Soldiers produce masks for COVID-19 response

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Zane Craig | Spc. Nick Ernesto, a woodworker at the Combined Maintenance Support Shop-East at Fort...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Zane Craig 

    Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Several Pennsylvania Army National Guard Soldiers with the Combined Maintenance Support Shop-East here are producing cloth face masks to protect Guard members during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    With the Pennsylvania Department of Health suggesting the use of masks in public places, including at Fort Indiantown Gap facilities, and the shortage of commercially available masks, making them is essential for the safety of the force, said Command Sgt. Maj. Shawn Phillips, who directs the mission.

    “Considering the profound and unique health risks faced by our Soldiers and Airman by this outbreak, the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is critical,” said Phillips. “With the assistance of the Combined Support Maintenance Shop (CSMS) and some local vendors, we hope to protect the force as we continue to battle this threat caused by the virus.”

    Two full-time military technicians in the CSMS in allied trades have skill sets suited to this task, Phillips said.

    To make a mask, one Soldier cuts the fabric to the appropriate size and shape, then another Soldier folds and marks the material so a pipe cleaner can be inserted to maintain a durable shape. Another Soldier then inserts and sews in the elastic ear straps to finish the mask.

    This results in about 20 to 25 masks per day, explained Staff Sgt. Arthur Wolfe, a canvas worker at CSMS-East and member of the 3622nd Support Maintenance Company, 728th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 213th Regional Support Group.

    “It’s part of my job,” said Wolfe, explaining that even though making masks is a departure from his normal work, “I’m here to help.”

    The soldiers began producing the masks on April 16.

    Phillips said the production goal would be to make enough masks to protect the force, though some missions require a higher level of protection than the cloth masks being produced.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Lt. Col. Keith Hickox (717) 861-6254, or e-mail



    Date Taken: 04.21.2020
    Date Posted: 04.21.2020 16:13
    Story ID: 368010
    Hometown: WERNERSVILLE, PA, US
    Hometown: WILLIAMSTOWN, PA, US

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