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News | Aug. 13, 2020

DLA disposal team in Guam assists aircraft carrier during extended stay

By Jake Joy DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

The property disposal team at the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services site in Guam provided sustained pier-side assistance to deployed sailors this summer as members of the USS Theodore Roosevelt crew quarantined on the island from late March into May.

The aircraft carrier was diverted to Guam March 26 after sailors began testing positive for COVID-19. While portions of the ship’s crew sheltered in place at area hotels, some sailors stayed behind to prepare the vessel for resumption of its Western Pacific cruise.

Disposal Services Representatives Faron Washington and Edward Forbes were among DLA employees standing by to help prepare the carrier for additional months on the water.

“[We] remained in constant contact with key logistics personnel aboard the ship,” Washington said, adding that disposal workers made multiple appointments to help sailors turn in 60 types of equipment from the ship, including 5,000 pounds of aircraft tires, aircraft fairings, valve assemblies and drained fuel tanks. Tens of thousands of protective masks were also provided to the ship from DLA excess property in Ohio.

The ship’s sailors and its beach detachment followed Defense Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines by properly palletizing the equipment, shrink wrapping it and placing plastic shrouds over every container. 

“Upon turn in, our receivers downloaded the pallets and purposefully left the property outside to ‘bake’ in the very hot Guam sun,” Washington said. “With zero cases of COVID-19 among our Guam personnel, it appears we erred on the side of caution and correctly accepted the ship’s material.”

Site Manager Eric Mills, a Navy Reserve officer who was pulled away from the office by official orders to support the ship in uniform, praised his team’s responsiveness.

“Our efforts assisted the ship’s logistical mission and its ability to get back under way while maintaining COVID-19 mitigation strategies,” Mills said. 

According to a 7th Fleet statement, the ship’s sailors manned the rails upon the vessel’s departure in June as a “gesture of gratitude and thanksgiving” to honor the people of Guam and the civilians and service members who supported the crew during its stay.