COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 21, 2020 —
As the Department of Defense increases its support to the nation’s COVID-19 virus pandemic, organizations within DOD ranks are coordinating their efforts to press the fight against the virus’ spread. The Defense Logistics Agency’s logistics support capabilities are demonstrating a growing response capacity as the Agency provides an expanding range of assistance through its worldwide supply chain operations.
DLA Land and Maritime has purposed its Maritime supply chain to furnish vital support to recently deployed U.S. Navy ships USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy. Maritime’s operating focus is to ensure the sustained delivery of maintenance parts remains reliable and flowing during both ships’ operations. Achieving that surety demands logisticians meticulously track each ship’s high priority repair parts for availability and delivery.
Maritime has been working closely with Navy customer account service representatives supporting the activities of deployed and forward deployed surface ships and submarines. Though the ships were dispatched to opposite regions of the country to more aggressively support the nation’s COVID-19 response, DLA is scaling up its logistics support since their deployment and is sustaining an operational material availability of 98 percent for the USNS Comfort, while keeping material availability for the USNS Mercy at 97 percent.
Maintenance parts not immediately on hand must be backordered for later delivery and having fewer on backorder reflects more efficient operations. There are currently 38 parts on backorder supporting USNS Comfort operations and 10 parts on backorder status for the USNS Mercy.
DLA Land and Maritime Customer Operations Director U.S. Navy Capt. David Lockney said planning and coordination with vendors is crucial during this emergency and the elevated communication is essential to DLA meeting the nation’s evolving assistance requirements.
“Our logistics supply chains have been operating at maximum capacity during this crisis to ensure all of the Navy’s ships and submarines are prepared and fully mission capable,” said DLA Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. John Palmer. “All DLA COVID-19 efforts, which include Land and Maritime, are being coordinated in an Agency-wide strategy to augment FEMA’s national COVID-19 response.”
DLA is contributing to the COVID-19 response while still fulfilling its primary military support mission. Adapting their operations to achieve both objectives is an example of the Agency’s capabilities as a premier logistics support operation that is dedicated to both national defense and humanitarian crisis response.