A group of eight soldiers and civilians from the Airborne Test Force at the Yuma Proving Ground are making face masks from parachute rigging gear for thousands at the base.
The decision for face masks at the base comes after the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, ordered all Department of Defense facilities to wear cloth face masks when they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing.
"Right now it is so hard to get any kind of masks, and whenever they find out that we’re making them for free, everybody is flocking to the pickup points to get their masks," said Staff Sergeant Gregory La Fleur. "They are high quality made by hand , so they're military products."
The team of mask makers are halfway through their goal of 4,500 masks.
"After some talking amongst the command and us, we recognized an opportunity, as well as we saw other parachute rigging elements out there assisting the communities that they were at. It went from just helping-out with a few, to helping out with thousands." said Chief Warrant Officer Travus Heffernan.
They expect to finish the job in a week or so.