NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
The Defense Logistics Agency and federal partners ensured delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Navy ships despite a historic mid-February deep freeze that delivered snow and ice throughout the southern United States.
DLA Distribution Norfolk, Virginia, started receiving COVID-19 vaccines Feb. 11 for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group ships and Carrier Air Wing Three. Armed with coolers to maintain the vaccine’s -20 degrees Celsius temperature, the Naval Surface Force Atlantic medical team picked up vaccines and accompanying supply kits from DDNV early Feb. 13 to administer to the sailors. DDNV employees also delivered vaccines and kits to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower at the Norfolk pier Feb. 15, making it DLA’s first vaccine delivery directly to a Navy ship.
“The effort ensured Carrier Strike Group sailors have the opportunity to receive a vaccine before leaving port,” said DDNV Commander Navy Capt. Tommy Neville.
"The reallocation of vaccines from seven different locations took incredible planning, tracking, communication and expediting by the team,” Neville said, adding that a narrow delivery window and operations schedule left no room for error. “I’m incredibly proud of the ‘Warfighter First’ mantra that DDNV applied to making this happen.”
The Naval Surface Force Atlantic medical team initiated the first round of vaccines to sailors aboard the USS Monterey, USS Vella Gulf, USS Mitscher and USS Mahan Feb. 13 and over the next three days vaccinated USS Laboon and USS Thomas Hudner crews. Five members of the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Clinic from Quantico, Virginia, also braved icy conditions to travel to Norfolk, where they trained the medical staff to administer the vaccine.
“The partnership with DLA Troop Support, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, the Navy commanders and FedEx exhibited the very best attributes of the team-centered approach that is the hallmark of DDNV operations,” Neville said. The result was the first direct delivery of vaccines from DLA to the fleet. We were excited to do our part.”
USS Monterey Commander Navy Capt. Joseph A. Baggett said the joint effort ensured sailors’ health and safety.
“Many sailors feel they’re doing their part in helping make this pandemic a thing of the past. They choose to do it for themselves, families and shipmates,” he said.