DLA partners to provide map support for hurricane relief

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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(Editor's note: below is an extract from a story posted Oct. 16, the full story can be found at:  Information Operations provides support for hurricane relief)

The string of hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, and Maria — that hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in August and September required immediate action. DLA Information Operations continues to play a big role in making DLA’s crucial support possible, most notably printing maps and providing communications and IT support for emergency response.

Print-On-Demand Mapping Support

Information Operations began printing maps, in coordination with DLA Aviation, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey, for emergency response units’ evacuation and recovery efforts on August 25, after Hurricane Harvey caused devastating flooding in Texas. Map support continued through Hurricane Irma in early September and is ongoing in Hurricane Maria’s wake. 

Map requests took first priority at Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia, as well as the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, printing facilities. Employees have been working overtime, into the evenings and on weekends, to get these critical maps printed. 

"This is what Mapping Print On Demand is built for — real-world events, allowing us to flex our abilities to provide products at a time of need,” said Allen McClain from the Geospatial-Intelligence Information Office, Media Division, in Arnold, Missouri. 

The maps have been distributed to a variety of emergency response units including Florida Division of Emergency Management and Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management.

 DLA’s partnership with USGS and NGA “really paid off during this crisis,” said Kevin Bettis, division chief of Mapping Customer Operations for DLA Aviation in Richmond. “A year ago the entire suite of USGS products were ingested into the NGA Print on Demand virtual warehouse, which made these products available to all DOD and federal agencies via the DLA Map Catalog,” he explained. “The USGS products were the product of choice for most of the units and agencies providing support for first responders and warfighters.”

The DLA Information Operations printing facilities are meeting the specific requirements for each request and have produced nearly 16,000 maps, with more orders expected. All maps were delivered less than 24 hours of the initial request. 

“Our employees take these situations to heart and are always ready to provide support when it counts most,” said Steve Sherman, director of Document Services.