DLA Aviation employees support each other during COVID-19 pandemic

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

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Executing the mission while taking care of each other and remaining resilient during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are top priorities for Defense Logistics Agency Aviation employees in Cherry Point, North Carolina, who are actively supporting the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center East.

More than 12 weeks ago, nearly 100% of the workforce began enterprise-directed telework to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Supervisors and employees shifted to using electronic communication tools and emails to conduct business tied to material management and planning.

Back in March when COVID-19 precautionary measures were still being developed, face coverings were in high demand. Hearing the call for protective face coverings, Diane Pettit, a sustainment specialist, and Kesia McCoy, an order fulfillment business process analyst, assigned to DLA Aviation-Cherry Point, jumped in to help fill the gap. Between the two of them, they produced more than 100 face coverings in two weeks during their off-duty hours. These face coverings, along with others donated by local community organizations and DLA Aviation employees, served as a bridge until DLA-sourced face coverings were received.

“I am proud of how the command has rallied together not only as a group as we face COVID-19 while supporting Fleet Readiness Center East but also how everyone has worked together to take care of each other to maintain a positive workplace camaraderie,” said Joshua Waller, DLA Aviation - Cherry Point deputy commander

To augment these efforts, DLA Aviation - Cherry Point Culture Focus Group also sponsored a creative face covering contest. Not only did the group help by underscoring safety messages but the contest helped tie together all organizational branches and maintain unit cohesiveness while employees were teleworking.

The judging was based on three categories: originality, creativity and entertainment quality.

Employees submitted a total of seven face coverings and after three rounds of judging, Joseph Van Etten, a customer support specialist, won the contest for his face covering depicting his favorite baseball team, the New York Mets.

“As a group, we are always looking for ways to carry out the commander’s intentions of maintaining a robust and resilient workforce,” said Michael Black, the Culture Focus Group president. “The creative face covering contest was a way of bringing us together to address a new requirement we must meet both in the workplace and out in the community.”

In addition to making face coverings, many DLA Aviation - Cherry Point employees have given back to the community during these uncertain times. Several employees have shopped for their neighbors, sourced needed items, adopted a family in need, cared for elderly loved ones, made meals for delivery, shared meals and donated food.