FORT BRAGG, N.C. (NWCT) NC National Guard’s 403rd Quarter Master Rigger Support Team, based at Simmons Army Airfield on Fort Bragg, is supporting their fellow Guardsmen by manufacturing protective masks for all NC Army and Air Guard members on NC COVID-19 response duty.

The 403rd QM Rigger Support Team consists of ten parachute riggers who have answered the call to action and transferred their set of skills to help protect guardsmen across the state.

Their special set of skills as maintainers of lifesaving equipment provide a unique capability for the state in a much-needed force preservation effort,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Viviana Paredes, the commander of the 403rd QM Rigger Support Team.

For over a month, the NC Guard has been working side by side with NC Dept. of Health and Human Service, NC Division of Emergency Management and many other local, state, and federal partners providing critical capabilities like; delivering personal protective equipment to medical facilities, commodity distribution, cybersecurity response and protection, warehouse and logistics management, and engineer assessments of potential alternate care facilities.

Currently, over 300 NC Guardsmen are on NC COVID-19 response duty across the state.

“We are here to manufacture these cloth masks in an effort to preserve our ‘NC COVID-19 duty power’ against the pandemic, ensuring the NCNG maintains the highest state of readiness not only during this crisis but afterward also,” Paredes said.

The 403rd‘s mission is critical to help Guardsmen maintain proper health and safety protocols while working to help keep their fellow citizens safe.