RICHMOND, VA –
Defense Logistics Agency Aviation is providing disinfectants to keep the Army’s fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft sanitized during the COVID-19 outbreak.
DLA Aviation employees are working with the Army’s Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, as well as National Guard and Army Reserve aviation offices to gauge customers’ needs for disinfectant. Approximately 300 of the 500 orders received have shipped so far and about 200 orders are on contract for direct shipment from the vendor, said Army Col. Buddy Hopkins, chief of the Customer Operations Directorate’s Army Customer Facing Division.
Aircraft such as the C-12 Huron and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are being flown in support of state COVID-19 missions, mostly transporting state leaders and medical supplies, he said. The Army’s flight training school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, is also receiving disinfectant so aircraft can be cleaned after each flight to minimize risks of virus spread.
Calla 1452 was the only bio-hazard disinfectant authorized for use on Army aircraft when Hopkins’ team began researching products, but demand quickly outpaced the manufacturer’s ability to keep up, he said. Instead, Hopkins’ team provided approved alternatives like isopropyl and ethyl alcohol while searching for additional sources.
"There are many disinfectants on the market, but not all are allowable for use on aircraft as they can cause corrosion to critical aircraft components," he said.
Working with the DLA Aviation Supplier Operations’ Original Equipment Manufacturing Directorate, the team identified ZEP Aviation RTU Disinfectant as an additional option. It has been assigned a national stock number and added to an existing contract.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 José Sanchez worked with the Army's Utility Helicopter Project Office to get temporary approval for the product as well as nine other disinfectants awaiting evaluation by the Army’s Engineering Support Activity.