HomeNewsArticle Display

167th Airlift Wing Airmen continue support to state’s COVID-19 response

West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) East, sanitize the Children’s Home Society in Romney, Va., May 1, 2020. Task Force CRE has conducted sanitization and decontamination, COVID-19 swabbing, and personal protective equipment training across the state as part of the COVID-19 response efforts.

West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) East, sanitize the Children’s Home Society in Romney, Va., May 1, 2020. Task Force CRE has conducted sanitization and decontamination, COVID-19 swabbing, and personal protective equipment training across the state as part of the COVID-19 response efforts.(U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) East, sanitize the Children’s Home Society in Romney, Va., May 1, 2020. Task Force CRE has conducted sanitization and decontamination, COVID-19 swabbing, and personal protective equipment training across the state as part of the COVID-19 response efforts.

West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) East, sanitize the Children’s Home Society in Romney, Va., May 1, 2020. Task Force CRE has conducted sanitization and decontamination, COVID-19 swabbing, and personal protective equipment training across the state as part of the COVID-19 response efforts. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) East, sanitize the Children’s Home Society in Romney, Va., May 1, 2020. Task Force CRE has conducted sanitization and decontamination, COVID-19 swabbing, and personal protective equipment training across the state as part of the COVID-19 response efforts.

West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) East, sanitize the Children’s Home Society in Romney, Va., May 1, 2020. Task Force CRE has conducted sanitization and decontamination, COVID-19 swabbing, and personal protective equipment training across the state as part of the COVID-19 response efforts.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

West Virginia Army National Guard 1st Sgt. Steven Light addresses members of Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) East at the start of a sanitization mission at the Children’s Home Society in Romney, W.Va., May 1. Task Force CRE has conducted sanitization and decontamination, COVID-19 swabbing, and personal protective equipment training across the state as part of the COVID-19 response efforts.

West Virginia Army National Guard 1st Sgt. Steven Light addresses members of Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) East at the start of a sanitization mission at the Children’s Home Society in Romney, W.Va., May 1. Task Force CRE has conducted sanitization and decontamination, COVID-19 swabbing, and personal protective equipment training across the state as part of the COVID-19 response efforts. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Airman 1st Class Summer Wilson sews cloth face masks at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 30, 2020. Wilson is part of the West Virginia National Guards Task Force Innovation which is producing protective face coverings as part of the COVID-19 response efforts. Wilson taught herself how to sew by watching online videos so she could sew masks for the task force.

Airman 1st Class Summer Wilson sews cloth face masks at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 30, 2020. Wilson is part of the West Virginia National Guards Task Force Innovation which is producing protective face coverings as part of the COVID-19 response efforts. Wilson taught herself how to sew by watching online videos so she could sew masks for the task force. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

West Virginia National Guard Airmen and Soldiers put the finishing pieces, including filters and head straps, on N-95 face masks cast from molded silicone at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 30, 2020. The Guardsmen are part of Task Force Innovation and have produced well over 1,500 masks. The masks were designed by Shepherd University staff after a shortage of off-the-shelf masks due to COVID-19. The mask’s designers provided the molds and training to the Guardsmen to enable to mask production.

West Virginia National Guard Airmen and Soldiers put the finishing pieces, including filters and head straps, on N-95 face masks cast from molded silicone at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 30, 2020. The Guardsmen are part of Task Force Innovation and have produced well over 1,500 masks. The masks were designed by Shepherd University staff after a shortage of off-the-shelf masks due to COVID-19. The mask’s designers provided the molds and training to the Guardsmen to enable to mask production. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Staff Sgt. Anthony Vanorsdale, places a filter piece into an N95 face mask at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 30, 2020. West Virginia National Guardsmen assigned to Task Force Innovation have produced more than 1500 of the cast mold masks developed by staff at Shepherd University.

Staff Sgt. Anthony Vanorsdale, places a filter piece into an N95 face mask at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 30, 2020. West Virginia National Guardsmen assigned to Task Force Innovation have produced more than 1500 of the cast mold masks developed by staff at Shepherd University. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Completed face masks, cast from silicone molds are stacked at the end of the production line at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 30, 2020. West Virginia National Guardsmen assigned to Task Force Innovation have created more 1,500 masks. The masks were designed by Shepherd University staff after a shortage of off-the-shelf masks due to COVID-19. The mask’s designers provided the molds and training to the Guardsmen to enable to mask production at the wing.

Completed face masks, cast from silicone molds are stacked at the end of the production line at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 30, 2020. West Virginia National Guardsmen assigned to Task Force Innovation have created more 1,500 masks. The masks were designed by Shepherd University staff after a shortage of off-the-shelf masks due to COVID-19. The mask’s designers provided the molds and training to the Guardsmen to enable to mask production at the wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Airmen assigned to Task Force Sustainment East load boxes of personal protective equipment into a cargo van at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 24, 2020. The task force is responsible for the transport of PPE to emergency management offices throughout the eastern panhandle of West Virginia

Airmen assigned to Task Force Sustainment East load boxes of personal protective equipment into a cargo van at the 167th Airlift Wing, April 24, 2020. The task force is responsible for the transport of PPE to emergency management offices throughout the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Senior Master Sgt. Jim DeCicco, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the West Virginia National Guard’s Task Force Sustainment East, coordinates a shipment of personal protective equipment from the 167th Airlift Wing, April 24, 2020. The task force is responsible for the transport of PPE to emergency management offices throughout the eastern panhandle West Virginia.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 10

Senior Master Sgt. Jim DeCicco, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the West Virginia National Guard’s Task Force Sustainment East, coordinates a shipment of personal protective equipment from the 167th Airlift Wing, April 24, 2020. The task force is responsible for the transport of PPE to emergency management offices throughout the eastern panhandle West Virginia. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --

More than 70 Airmen from the 167th Airlift Wing have supported the state of West Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts for nearly two months.

Some of the Airmen have deployed to locations around the state to work alongside other members of the West Virginia National Guard, while others provide support from the wing, assist at the local health departments or support operations while working from home.

167th Airmen supporting the WVNG’s Task Force Innovation have made more than 2,000 face masks. Working from the wing’s civil engineering building, the TF Innovation Airmen had cast 1,500 N95 masks by the end of April, 1,000 of those were finished with filters and straps and sent out for delivery.

The cast N95 mask design and process was developed by Shepherd University staff, Kay Dartt and Chase Molden. They provided initial training to the Innovation team and continue to work with them as the team grows and increases their capacity to make more masks.  

Another 1,000 cloth and Gortex face masks were sewn by another small group of Airmen, mostly working from home on their personal sewing machines.

The 167th’s TF Innovation officer in charge, 1st Lt. Heather Kitay, said she was thankful for the team that had been assembled to make the masks.

“They are resourceful, hardworking, and they genuinely care about what they are doing,” she said.

Another group of hardworking Airmen are five medical personnel augmenting the Department of Human Health and Resource’s epidemiology teams in Berkeley and Jefferson counties. The Airmen have conducted approximately 70 voluntary COVID-19 mapping engagements, making well over 1,000 phone calls as part of their efforts.

Another group of 167th AW Airmen are supporting Task Force Sustainment, dedicated to moving critical supplies to the counties around the state and the eastern panhandle. Ten Airmen are based in Rock Branch, W.Va., and eight are supporting Task Force Sustainment – East, from the wing in Martinsburg.

“We rendezvous with Sustainment Main at a central location to transfer supplies back and forth,” explained Senior Master Sgt. Jim DeCicco, TF Sustainment East non-commissioned officer in charge. “We dispense assets, typically, to emergency management offices.”

The team has moved through Camp Dawson, Morgantown, Clarksburg, Allentown, Pa., and New Jersey, logging 6,600 miles and handling 151,748 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise, or TF CRE –East, is comprised of 15 Airmen and 15-20 WV Army National Guardsmen. The CRE-East team has conducted about 80 missions throughout the region to date, providing PPE training, COVID-19 swabbing, sanitizing work spaces, and training retail businesses on proper handling of cargo, boxes and PPE donning and doffing.

All current and future missions performed by the WVNG are a part of a coordinated state-level public health preparation and response effort for the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, initiated by Governor Jim Justice, and being led by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.