Fort Campbell, KY – Parachute Riggers from the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) are no longer sewing chutes, but masks instead, at Fort Campbell, April 15th, 2020.
With Airborne operators and operations at a Mission Essential stance due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, the 5th Group Riggers, normally tasked with maintaining parachutes, are now using their skills to sew required face masks for members of the Group.
“Naturally riggers are professional sewers,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan, the noncommission officer in charge of the Rigger section. “We all go through sewing school while we are in Advanced Individual Training.”
The Riggers, whose daily jobs are to ensure parachutes are safely packed, tested, and stored for airborne operations, came together to support the COVID-19 response.
Riggers from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) located at Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Washington, teamed up with 5th Group. Together, the NCOs came up with dynamic yet straightforward solutions. They developed a plan to begin face mask production and distribution for the local population across the installation.
5th Group was not alone in the efforts with the production. Chapter 38, a local non-profit organization of Group Alumni, veterans, and volunteers, assisted with the purchase of additional materials.
“They purchased the additional materials needed for mask we were able to make for Family members,” said Ryan.
The riggers are working in two-shifts daily as they continue making masks for the members of 5th Group and other Fort Campbell essential personnel.
Since production has been underway, the Riggers have made more than 1200 masks, with no plans of stopping until the need is met.