SICILY, Italy –
As part of the Defense Department’s mission to develop and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Sigonella, Italy, began receiving, packaging and shipping the -20 degrees Celsius Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to Defense Department employees outside the continental U.S Jan.7.
DDSI is leveraging its well-defined cold chain management capability and paralleling its seasonal influenza vaccine model to store and ship the temperature sensitive material. To maintain auditability and customers’ trust, the distribution center employees are also tracking shipments by lot number and destination.
Within one week of the anticipated vaccine shipment, the DDSI team quickly established a frozen storage location to properly handle and distribute the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which must be safeguarded at -20 degrees Celsius. Using cold chain management procedures, the DDSI team provided allocation, shipping, receipt, in-transit storage and tracking information to a multitude of customers and commands.
For the no-fail mission, DDSI coordinated with one of the tenant commands, the Command Naval Forces Europe Detachment Maritime Ashore Support Team, that provided an urgently needed generator as a backup power source for the freezer units.
Naval Air Station Sigonella received the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the Defense Department’s effort to protect its personnel against the virus. The vaccine requires two doses and is being administered on a voluntary basis utilizing a tiered approach beginning Jan. 9.
The success of this leg of the OWS mission is a direct result of the collaborative efforts of DDSI, CNE DET MAST, Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella, Naval Hospital Sigonella and its Souda Bay Detachment and Commander Task Force 63.
DDSI participants include Navy Chief Petty Officers Chauncey McWilliams and Wilder Fermangomez, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Allen Mason, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Rolando Sol, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Byron Nylander, Maurizio Saia, Sion Monsone, Emanuela Sangiorgio, Annalisa Coletta and Adriana Marcewicz.
CNE DET MAST participants include Chief Petty Officer Malcolm Marcewicz, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michelle Gagne, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Theo Womack, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Mott, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Melendez, Navy Seaman Trenton McGill and Navy Seaman Zach Leland.
DDSI plays a consistent and vital role in supporting the warfighter in the U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Central Command areas of operations. The distribution center provides distribution services and material support for transiting ships in the Mediterranean, as well as 37 tenant commands onboard Naval Air Station Sigonella.