FORT BELVOIR, Virginia –
A Defense Logistics Agency Rapid Deployment Team is supporting U.S. Army North in its role as the Joint Forces Land Component Commander as it determines requirements for medical and logistics support units mobilizing to assist in the Defense Department’s response to the nationwide spread of COVID-19.
As ARNORTH’s 377th Sustainment Command determines the needs of three expeditionary sustainment commands preparing to establish field locations in hot spots throughout the country, the 13-member team is relaying those demands to DLA’s COVID-19 Task Force for coordination across the agency’s supply chains.
Personal protective equipment tops ARNORTH’s list of needs, but requests for information have also included the location and quantities of other items like fuel and meals, said Navy Capt. Timothy Bellott, RDT Blue commander. Units continue to use standard systems such as the online FedMall to place orders.
“But we’re making sure prioritization is given for limited DOD supplies and units’ needs are getting the right level of attention,” he said.
RDTs are designed to deploy on short notice to assist military and federal agencies during emergencies and contingencies. Members, who are from various supply chains and have a range of specialties from contracting to information technology, normally relocate with the task force in charge to support a geographically confined incident such as a hurricane or earthquake. But due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus and danger of being infected while traveling, individuals are working from their home locations in Virginia, California, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Alabama.
“Listening to the ongoing discussions and seeing the growth in the JFLCC’s plans as they mobilize units has given us the unique opportunity to provide information from a DLA standpoint and capture some of the requirements early on,” Bellott said.
One of only two team members authorized to travel so far; he is driving to Texas this weekend where he will embed with ARNORTH at Fort Sam Houston.
ARNORTH requested the RDT’s assistance through the end of May.