US Navy sailors, squadrons to produce face coverings

13 April 2020 (Last Updated April 13th, 2020 13:40)

Sailors aboard US Navy aircraft carriers and squadrons are set to produce fabric face coverings to safeguard their shipmates from coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.  

US Navy sailors, squadrons to produce face coverings
Sailors aboard the US Navy aircraft carriers are producing fabric face coverings to safeguard their shipmates. Credit: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kelsey Trinh/Released.

Sailors aboard US Navy aircraft carriers and squadrons are set to produce fabric face coverings to safeguard their shipmates from coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The idea of the production was lead by Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL) Force Surgeon Captain Kimberly Toone. It is an initial protective measure until other face masks are made available.

The material to be used for the masks is made up of medical grade material that is used to wrap surgical sets and has the ability to block aerosols and droplets, including water, bacteria and other particles.

These fabric face coverings are created by sailors aboard USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), USS George Washington (CVN 73), USS John C Stennis (CVN 74), USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).

Watchstanders in various departments on board will be provided with the masks first. Following this, assigned sailors will be given the protective gear.

Currently, 30 masks per day are being produced. The production is expected to increase to 50 a day by the following week.

An assembly line has been created, with personnel allotted for sewing, cutting fabric and combining all of the parts to create the fabric face coverings swiftly.

Harry S Truman maintenance officer commander Andres Pico said: “AIMD often works on equipment critical to safety of flight and the lives of aircrew.  It’s a great feeling to extend that service to the crew.

“With a dedicated all-hands effort we can stave off this virus and continue to keep us and our ship ready.”

The mask is required to fit closely and comfortably against the face, with no breathing restrictions. The face has to be covered from nose to chin, secured in place with ties and or any cloth to have multiple layers of fabric.