News | Oct. 2, 2017

Subsistence helps send aid to Mexico earthquake victims

By Shawn J. Jones DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

The Subsistence team at Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support helped provide relief to those affected by the Sept. 19 earthquake near Mexico City.

As the work day came to a close on Sept. 21, Subsistence received a call from U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Logistics Operations Center, requesting earthquake-relief provisions.

The team had been working in overdrive the past month due to the onslaught of hurricanes that have battered Texas, Florida and the Caribbean.

“As soon as we knew that this was a no-kidding, urgent requirement, there was no hesitation to stay through the evening to see this through,” said Pat Scott, the chief of garrison feeding who works with stateside customers. “We talked about ordering in pizza, but were too keyed up to eat!”

Team Subsistence immediately jumped into action. 

Mary Ellen Dobbins, the chief of garrison feeding who works with stateside suppliers, reached out to a vendor to inquire about their ability to quickly build pallets of non-perishable items, such as bottled water, rice, beans, soup and pasta, and deliver the shipment to Naval Air Station North Island, California, where it would be loaded onto a Navy aircraft bound for Mexico.

She also coordinated with the vendor to find a delivery driver available on short-notice who could access the Navy installation without significant delay.

The vendor proved to be a good partner as it elevated the priority of the urgent order over their normal business that evening, Scott said.

While her teammates worked out the logistics with the customer and the vendor, Wanda Kinsey, who works with DLA customers in the Southwest region, ensured the administrative and funding facets of the order were handled properly.

In all, 60 warehouse pallets-worth of non-perishable food was delivered within 15 hours of the initial request.

John Sheehan, Subsistence’s director of customer operations, said he is impressed by his co-workers’ dedication during the recent run of weather-related disasters.

“Subsistence's customer and supplier operations have been working on adrenaline since Hurricane Harvey hit in late August,” he said. “Although support to Mexico for the earthquake response was short-fused and short-lived, Subsistence personnel and their industry partners answered the call like a finely tuned machine.”