Fort Bragg teams with NC State to produce masks during global pandemic

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- Military readiness is a collective effort. At Fort Bragg, soldiers in the 647th Quartermaster Company and 188 Support Battalion are working together to produce personal protective gear for soldiers and mission-essential staff during this global pandemic.

"The 647th Quartermaster Company is creating cloth facial masks. It's what we refer to as Operation Dragon Mask led by the 18th Airborne Corps," said Company Commander Capt. Anthony Williams.

Operation Dragon Mask has been in full effect for a week inside the 647th Quartermaster Company Pack Shed. Soldiers used sewing machines to sew cloth face coverings together.

These efforts wouldn't be possible without the partnership between N.C. State University's Nonwovens Institute and Fort Bragg. The university's Nonwovens Institute donated more than 4,000 meters of nonwoven material.

Meanwhile, soldiers in the 188th Brigade Support Battalion produced plastic face shields inside the 18th Field Artillery Brigade.

The soldiers are mass producing personal protective equipment while following CDC guidelines.

"They're prepared to follow the appropriate instructions to keep themselves safe and the material they are producing free of contamination as much as possible," Col. Jennifer Caci with the 18th Airborne Corps said.

The final products will be distributed to mission-essential staff on Fort Bragg. It is even possible that masks could be produced for those in COVID-19 hotspots.

"Their production seems to be increasing every day. If there is an opportunity for us to support that, I think Gen. Kurilla would definitely be willing to do that," Caci said.

It's a collective effort that help soldiers maintain readiness even during a global outbreak.

"This is not just a military fight or civilian fight or a fight for essential personnel," Williams said. "This is a fight for everyone."
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