As Defense Logistics Agency employees provide essential equipment to warfighters and whole-of-government partners responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, some are joining those on the front line.
Michael Moody, a packaging specialist with DLA Troop Support’s Construction and Equipment supply chain in Philadelphia, has found himself at the forefront of the military’s response after being called to duty with the Air Force Reserve.
“I was notified that I would deploy to New York City as part of the forward command element for the 64th Air Expeditionary Group, which is the Air Force element serving Joint Task Force – Northeast,” Moody said. “I never thought I would be called upon to deploy to a U.S. city, but I am honored to have the opportunity to help American communities where they need it most.”
The senior master sergeant, who is part of the 514th Air Mobility Wing’s 88th Aerial Port Squadron, was mobilized April 5 when the Air Force Reserve Command reactivated the 64th AEG, which has more than 120 medical personnel from various reserve wings assisting New York City hospitals dealing with COVID-19, according to a 514th AMW article.
Moody serves as the group’s first sergeant.
“As first sergeant, my main responsibility is to serve as the focal point for AEG leadership for all readiness, health, morale and welfare, and quality-of-life matters. In the deployed environment, I also represent the forward commander with operations, safety/security briefings and logistical support,” he said.
Moody will work with senior enlisted leaders of other services to ensure military medical personnel receive support as they’re dispatched to hospitals throughout the city to assist and relieve overextended staffs.
“They have been welcomed into the NYC civilian medical community, and the hospitals are overjoyed to see our AFRC medical professionals roll in to help,” Moody said. “While helping the sick here is obviously important, I think giving the overworked staff of these hospitals a chance to take a knee is just as important.”
Stephen Wielgosz, chief of the C&E Supplier Support Division, said when he heard Moody was going to deploy, he knew he would provide a positive impact.
“Mike has always been very proud to serve his country, and it is no surprise that he’s involved in this effort,” Wielgosz said. “He is always willing to go above and beyond no matter what is asked of him. Knowing the risk of being on the front line, Mike spoke proudly of having the opportunity to battle COVID-19 in order to overcome this challenge for everyone.”
While on his 60-day deployment, Moody’s wife, Brieanne Moody, C&E quality assurance specialist, is holding down the fort with their two daughters. She said it’s scary that her husband is in one of the country’s hotspots, but she knows he is a positive asset to the team and is proud of his efforts.
“Being a reservist myself, we have always risked deployment and tried our best to prepare our children and ourselves for when this day would come,” she said, adding that she’s proud of him and anxious for the pandemic to end. “Maybe a little more than most.”
David Wyatt, a quality assurance specialist supervisor, said Moody will be missed while he’s deployed, but the team will work together to cover his responsibilities and ensure the supply chain runs smoothly until he returns.
“There will definitely be a void with Mike being away, but we will work together to ensure we provide our customers with the same high standards of service and support that they are accustomed to,” said Wyatt, who previously worked for Moody.
“In the short amount of time that he was my supervisor, he taught me what it means to be a great leader. I have no doubt that the airmen serving under his leadership are in good hands.”
Wielgosz agreed that Moody left a void when he deployed with the 64th AEG, but he is confident the team can cover for him until he returns from the fight.
“We always talk about never having a single point of failure within our working group,” he said. “Although Mike’s current position is unique as a packaging specialist, we have had internal discussions to ensure we are prioritizing requests of all of our customers and team members within the C&E supply chain to ensure adequate coverage while he is away. We look forward to him returning safely and sharing his lessons learned on the front line.”