The Department of the Air Force’s Acquisition COVID-19 Task Force (DAF-ACT) executed a $126 million contract on May 1 for expanded production of N95 masks — 26 million per month — starting in October. The contract, awarded to 3M, will increase the supply chain of N95 masks and resupply the Strategic National Stockpile following increased demand due to COVID-19.
Coordinated through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF), and funded through the CARES Act, the contract increases N95 mask production by at least 312 million within the next twelve months.
A team of contracting officers at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, finalized the deal.
“As an Air Force contracting professional, it’s always a great feeling when you are able to help secure a critical investment in U.S. manufacturing capacity for items that will serve a greater good,” said Nathan Shrider, AFLCMC contracting officer. “It’s an honor to serve with such a dedicated team that is making a difference.”
3M has already placed orders for raw material and two new N95 manufacturing lines. To meet increased production capacity, 3M plans to expand its facility in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and also perform initial production in Wisconsin.
“The Air Force is pleased to execute recent contracts to expand N95 mask production for our nation,” said Dr. Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics. “Our past initiatives to empower our acquisition workforce and to accelerate programs have put us in a good position to respond to the present crisis with speed and agility. We are proud to be an important part of the solution.”
Roper established the DAF-ACT across the service’s acquisition enterprise to execute requirements from the JATF and to collect and consolidate funding requests needed to recover programs from COVID-19 impacts.
“Our acquisition management and contracting professionals are working seamlessly as part of a whole-of-government response and with industry to ensure we effectively and expeditiously align resources with requirements,” said Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt, DAF-ACT director. “Our team is proud to support critical acquisition efforts that will continue to fortify our nation’s supply chain and resilience.”