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177 FW Sews Face Masks for Mission-Essential Personnel

A picture of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kyle P. Brier, an Aircrew Flight Equipment craftsman, sewing face masks.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kyle P. Brier, an Aircrew Flight Equipment craftsman at the at the 177th Fighter Wing, sews face masks April 8, 2020, in the AFE shop at the New Jersey Air National Guard Base, N.J. The 177th AFE shop began sewing and distributing face masks for mission-essential personnel to take every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our Airmen, families and community in response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Cristina J. Allen)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael R. Ottaviano and Staff Sgt. Brandon M. Staines, aircraft ordinance maintenance technology (Egress) technicians, volunteering to prepare fabric for face masks

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael R. Ottaviano (left), and Staff Sgt. Brandon M. Staines, aircraft ordinance maintenance technology (Egress) technicians at the 177th Fighter Wing, volunteer to prepare fabric for face masks April 8, 2020, in the Aircrew Flight Equipment shop at the New Jersey Air National Guard Base, N.J. The 177th AFE shop began sewing and distributing face masks for mission-essential personnel to take every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our Airmen, families and community in response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Cristina J. Allen)

A picture of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kyle P. Brier, an Aircrew Flight Equipment craftsman, sewing face masks.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kyle P. Brier, an Aircrew Flight Equipment craftsman at the at the 177th Fighter Wing, sews face masks April 8, 2020, in the AFE shop at the New Jersey Air National Guard Base, N.J. The 177th AFE shop began sewing and distributing face masks for mission-essential personnel to take every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our Airmen, families and community in response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Cristina J. Allen)

A picture of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kyle P. Brier sewing face masks.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kyle P. Brier, an Aircrew Flight Equipment craftsman at the at the 177th Fighter Wing, sews face masks April 8, 2020, in the AFE shop at the New Jersey Air National Guard Base, N.J. The 177th AFE shop began sewing and distributing face masks for mission-essential personnel to take every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our Airmen, families and community in response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Cristina J. Allen)

A picture of U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael R. Ottaviano, and Staff Sgt. Brandon M. Staines, aircraft ordinance maintenance technology (Egress) technicians, volunteering to prepare fabric for face masks.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael R. Ottaviano (left), and Staff Sgt. Brandon M. Staines, aircraft ordinance maintenance technology (Egress) technicians at the at the 177th Fighter Wing, volunteer to prepare fabric for face masks April 8, 2020, in the Aircrew Flight Equipment shop at the New Jersey Air National Guard Base, N.J. The 177th AFE shop began sewing and distributing face masks for mission-essential personnel to take every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our Airmen, families and community in response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Cristina J. Allen)

A picture of U.S. Air Force Airman Makayla P. Mehaffey, an aviation resource manager, volunteering to prepare fabric for face masks

U.S. Air Force Airman Makayla P. Mehaffey, an aviation resource manager at the at the 177th Fighter Wing, volunteers to prepare fabric for face masks April 8, 2020, in the Aircrew Flight Equipment shop at the New Jersey Air National Guard Base, N.J. The 177th AFE shop began sewing and distributing face masks for mission-essential personnel to take every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our Airmen, families and community in response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Cristina J. Allen)

A picture of U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ashley N. Daraklis, an aviation resource manager, volunteering to prepare fabric for face masks.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ashley N. Daraklis, an aviation resource manager at the at the 177th Fighter Wing, volunteers to prepare fabric for face masks April 8, 2020, in the Aircrew Flight Equipment shop at the New Jersey Air National Guard Base, N.J. The 177th AFE shop began sewing and distributing face masks for mission-essential personnel to take every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our Airmen, families and community in response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Cristina J. Allen)

ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. --

The 177th Fighter Wing Aircrew Flight Equipment shop began sewing and distributing face masks for mission-essential personnel April 8, 2020, at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J.

The 177th FW is committed to maintaining national defense while taking every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our Airmen, families and community in response to COVID-19.

“The health and safety of our fellow Americans and National Guard members; ensuring we are mission ready; and supporting our local, state and federal partners are my highest priorities as the Guard continues to support the whole-of-America COVID-19 fight.” Said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Airmen at 177th FW, especially 177th Maintenance Group Airmen, are essential in maintaining mission-ready aircraft that must be prepared for national defense and potential combat deployments, at all times. Airmen are not always afforded the opportunity of working 6-feet apart from each other and sometimes have to work in teams to complete tasks.

“These face masks are being made for all Wing members,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jason L. Gioconda, Aircrew Flight Equipment superintendent. “They are mainly made for the full-time, mission-essential personnel who may work closely together and can’t always abide by social distancing guidelines.”

The latest guidance from the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the coronavirus in public settings or where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

“Master Sgt. Kyle P. Brier, Aircrew Flight Equipment craftsman, came up with the idea for the face mask since the AFE shop works with oxygen masks that the pilots fly with,” said Gioconda. “They are made from a tightly woven cotton on the outside with a lint-free layer of woven poly-material on the inside.”

Airman from all over the base are stepping up to help make these face masks to better equip mission-essential employees’ ability to do their jobs safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think the making and distribution of these face masks will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus if someone may have the virus, but isn’t showing any signs or symptoms,” said Gioconda. “There are many, mission-essential jobs that require our Airmen to work side by side to accomplish the mission.”

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