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News | Jan. 21, 2021

RDT program manager consolidates DLA’s pandemic support data, assists vaccine distribution

By Beth Reece

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of 11 stories highlighting individual and team contributions to DLA’s pandemic support.

Amy Stayer can summarize the Defense Logistics Agency’s $3 billion in pandemic support to the Defense Department and federal agencies in her sleep.

As a member of DLA’s COVID-19 Task Force, she’s written executive summaries that detail the agency’s contributions to national efforts every day since March to give DLA leaders a complete view of work that spans multiple supply chains and customers.

“We pull together disparate pieces of information to shape a holistic picture of DLA’s support. Our job is making comprehensive sense of it all so our leaders and subject matter experts can focus on their own areas of expertise and make decisions that affect DOD and our federal partners,” she said.

Stayer volunteered to assist the task force on top of her regular duties as program manager of DLA’s Rapid Deployment Teams when she noticed DLA Logistics Operations leaders scrambling to ramp up the agency’s support early in the pandemic. Though she had a broad understanding of DLA’s mission after almost 10 years with the agency, primarily in enterprise risk management and internal controls, she said the experience pushed her to learn more.

“If I was taking notes at a meeting with a lot of acronyms or terminology that only someone in DLA Troop Support or DLA Distribution would get, I had to quickly figure things out to follow the rest of the meeting and the next meeting after that,” she said. “My ability to develop products like talking points and meeting slides depended on my complete understanding.”

DLA support Stayer helped track and summarize for leaders included pharmaceuticals to Navy hospital ships, goggles and face masks to nursing homes, gloves for the Department of Health and Human Services-managed Strategic National Stockpile, and medical supplies for surge test sites throughout the nation.

She’s now serving on a DLA planning team for Operation Warp Speed as the agency determines how it will support COVID-19 vaccine distribution to DOD customers.

“Cold chain management is a big part of disseminating the vaccines currently in development, so lots of people are interested in DLA’s capabilities in that area,” she said, adding that DLA already ships the yearly flu vaccine to worldwide military treatment facilities.

Stayer said she believes participating in DLA’s COVID-19 response is one of the most important things she’s ever done.

“It’s been such a scary time for our nation – the world, really – and it’s a good feeling to know I had a small part in helping others get critical supplies that mean the difference between life and death in some cases,” she said.