DLA medical logistics team provides personal protective equipment to new COVID hotspots

By Christian Deluca DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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The Defense Logistics Agency is providing much needed personal protective equipment and test supplies to state and local hotspots as COVID-19 cases continue rising in the U.S.

The DLA Troop Support medical team worked with DLA Distribution during the July 4 holiday to fulfill multiple requests for items used at test sites in Texas, Florida and Louisiana. Employees volunteered to process, pack and ship the goods through the three-day holiday weekend.

“DLA never sleeps; we never take a day off,” said Kevin Echelberger, medical resolution specialist supervisor.

The Office of the Surgeon General requested over a million pairs of gloves, testing supplies and hand sanitizer just before the holiday. Thomas Heleniak, a tailored vendor logistic specialist on the medical team, processed the orders as workers at DLA Distribution Susquehanna packed the items. The gloves began arriving at Health and Human Services offices in all three states the following Monday.

“I believe the process went very well,” Heleniak said. “The key was communication. From the surgeon general’s office, to DLA Troop Support, to DLA Distribution.”

Another 480,000 gloves were delivered to HHS offices in Arizona through a separate request. And a July 6 Defense Health Agency request for over 6,000 test swabs and 6,000 viral transport mediums was met within two days.

The work continued the following week when DLA Troop Support received a same-day requirement to replace recalled hand sanitizer at the Louisiana Surge COVID-19 testing site. Working with DLA Distribution, the medical team expedited an overnight shipment of 86,400 bottles of hand sanitizer that was received July 11.