DLA San Joaquin’s IT Contingency team members provide crucial communications to hurricane relief efforts

By Annette Silva DLA Distribution San Joaquin Public Affairs

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Preparation was key to the successful deployment of two DLA Information Operations Contingency Information Technology Support team members from DLA Distribution San Joaquin, California, during DLA’s current humanitarian efforts for hurricane relief.

Robert Garcia and Charles James deployed for approximately one month. Their journey started at Randolph Air Force Base Auxiliary Field in Seguin, Texas, and later moved to Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. While deployed to the FEMA Incident Support Base at Randolph, they sustained 24/7 operations. Last week they returned to their home station at the San Joaquin distribution center.

“There was a lot of hard work involved, but I enjoyed that we were a part of the humanitarian effort to support those affected by the recent hurricanes,” commented Garcia. 

According to Garcia, the DLA Distribution Expeditionary team and the DLA Information Operations Contingency Information Technology teams supported U.S. Northern Command as it leaned forward with state governors and the National Guard to advance understanding, trust, and teamwork in direct support of FEMA through dual-status command arrangements. 

He stated that the DDXX and Contingency IT teams have trained and worked with FEMA many times in recent years to set up ISBs resulting in the team’s preparation and knowledge of what to expect as soon as they arrived.

Reliable communications is crucial in these humanitarian efforts. Their mission on ground was to create a command and control element for the ISB located at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. The Mobile Emergency Response Center, along with Garcia and James, were required to establish communications for the DDXX teams from Red River, Texas, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania and Tracy, California. The services provided allowed all DLA personnel on site to access data, make phone calls, print and copy required documents and coordinate ISB operations with hand-held radios.

The Contingency IT team concurrently supported two other DDXX/FEMA ISBs at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Further, they supported DLA’s Mobile Command Vehicle in support of DLA Energy as it moved around as needed in response to the recent storms. 

“Our work is still far from over as the MCV is now on a barge destined for Puerto Rico,” concluded Garcia.

James is passionate about the support he provides in his role with the Contingency IT team.

“It was truly rewarding to support such a large scale effort. Knowing that so many agencies can work together jointly and have a positive effect on the many Americans in need made the difficult journey worth it,” he commented. “I look forward to supporting the mission and agency again in my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico.”

James is getting ready to deploy again in support of the disaster relief efforts to Puerto Rico.