News | April 27, 2020

DLA Distribution Oklahoma City keeps F-35 parts moving during COVID-19 pandemic

By Jona Morrison, DLA Distribution Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Training Coordinator

Oklahomans have a long history of overcoming adversity, lending a helping hand to neighbors, and maintaining hope and resiliency in trying times. It’s what they proudly refer to as the “Oklahoma Standard.”

The F-35 team at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is demonstrating those standards by continuing to transfer in 50,000 part numbers from Pratt & Whitney, an effort scheduled to be completed by the end of fiscal 2020. Despite disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has actually increased weekly transfers, said Cornell Greene, a DDOO project manager.

“The steps employees are taking to ensure this mission-essential contract continues unabated include wearing gloves, masks, practicing good hygiene, social distancing, and true ingenuity and creativity with their DIY [do it yourself] face coverings,” she said.

Employees from the DDOO Maintenance Department enhanced safety measures by designing, building and installing Plexiglas barriers in high-traffic work areas such as truck docks and the Transportation Assistant Office.

“We have over-the-road truck drivers coming in and out of there all day picking up loads to take to other bases. They have to come into the Transportation Assistant Office to sign bills of lading, and we also have customers coming in all day from all over the base to bring material in to be shipped out,” said Transportation Officer Jabari Giles.

DDOO has also minimized risks by stopping face-to-face meetings and expanding the use of Skype and email, as well as adjusting employee’s shifts and break times. And movement among the organization’s 60-plus buildings has been minimized.

DLA Distribution Oklahoma City Director John Northrup praised employees for their dedication and work ethic.

“As I speak with folks across the distribution center, we discuss the oath of office that we took as public servants – servants of the people,” he said, adding that his team takes pride in supporting warfighters.

“Despite being scared and uncertain of the future, DDOO employees continue to report daily since the onset of COVID-19,” Northrup added. “They are willingly and collectively standing tall across multiple functions in support of warfighters all over the world. I am humbled and proud to be part of this fine team.”