YOKOSUKA, Japan –
Invisible to the naked eye, COVID-19 has emerged a ruthless foe and personal protective equipment a means to defend the novel adversary. Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Yokosuka, Japan, has met the coronavirus challenge head-on, providing PPE to 21 ships in the Pacific.
“So many of our hi-priority ships are now in a much better position to protect themselves from this COVID-19 issue,” Navy Capt. Pamela Theorgood, assistant chief of staff, Logistics and Ordnance (N41) Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, said.
As the virus swept through ships, the staff at DDYJ knew they had to act fast. “The first thing we did was to inspect our stock on hand — all 72,000 items — to see what could be used as PPE, including masks, respirators, gloves, aprons, coveralls, face shields, goggles and disinfectants to clean,” Hirobumi Ako, DDYJ, Storage Operations, said.
Finding significant PPE in stock, DDYJ employees then collaborated with 7th Fleet Personnel to distribute over 16,000 face masks, 186 thousand gloves, 1.5 thousand Tyvek-like coveralls and over 600 goggles to ships from Forward Deployment Naval Force Yokosuka, Japan, FDNF Sasebo, Japan, the USS Nimitz Strike Group and the USS Theodore Roosevelt to help control the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
“This was a total team effort. Our military, civilian and master labor contract employees picked, packed and shipped these critical supplies without any delay,” Jay Sternadel, DLA Distribution Yokosuka, Japan, deputy commander, said.