US Military Provides Reusable N95 Masks and Face Shields

By June 2, 2020blog
US Military Delivers Reusable N95 Masks and Face Shields

Defense Department

As part of its efforts to contain the coronavirus crisis, the Defense Department has supplied 10 million N95 masks to two government bodies at the front of this crisis, FEMA and the HHS. The Defense Department is ready to supply 10 million more.

These endeavors are the direct result of the Defense Production Act. A Defense Department spokesman says that under the Defense Production Act, $133 million is being invested to boost the production capacity for reusable N95 masks. The heavy investment will enable the government to rapidly increase its production capacity to more than 39 million masks in just 3 months.

Human Health Services

The HHS (Human Health Services) has also received $415 million under contract from the Defense Department under which it will set up and operate 60 units to decontaminate almost 5 million reusable N95 masks every day. This sterilization capability is crucial since it will reduce the demand for new masks thus relieving the pressure on production facilities involved in manufacturing these masks.

These decontamination units are already in operation in Boston, Chicago and New York. They will also be made available in other major cities.


The Pentagon has placed around 50,000 Reserve and National Guard personnel in states that are struggling to contain the crisis so that these personnel can provide much-needed assistance. Also, more than 4000 doctors and other medical professionals have also been deployed in areas facing a shortage of medical personnel.

The Army Reserve has also deployed medical task forces to work in civilian hospitals in order to assist overwhelmed medical staff.

All Branches of US Military Producing Reusable N95 Masks and Face Shields

The US military is also 3D printing face shields, besides producing reusable N95 masks in a bid to contain the coronavirus crisis. The Marine Corps and Navy have engaged in 3D printing face masks after receiving a request from FEMA. Following the request, the assistant secretary of the navy ordered commands of the marine corps and the navy to start production to help alleviate the national emergency.

The US military is in prime position to provide assistance due to its expertise and capabilities in 3d-printing and manufacturing. The additive manufacturing facilities of the Marine Corps are working to meet the face shield requests of FEMA.

The Department of the Navy is now collaborating with industry and the Pentagon to assess the scope and volume of demand, increase manufacturing capacity and to meet quality standards. All branches of the US military are now cooperating to supply reusable N95 masks and face shields. The Air Force is now 3D-printing both face shields and reusable N95 masks.

The US military is making further moves to provide much needed medical supplies to ameliorate the COVID-19 national emergency.