FORT BELVOIR, Va., –
Rapid COVID-19 tests and N95 masks are among initial supplies from the Defense Logistics Agency being flown to India as part of the U.S. government’s effort to help meet urgent health needs there.
A first shipment of supplies left Travis Air Force Base, California, April 28 and included 184,000 test kits and 84,000 N95 masks from DLA. A second shipment departed April 29 with another 518,400 test kits, and a third flight is scheduled to leave today with oxygen concentrators, additional test kits and N95 masks. Planning is ongoing for additional flights to send more supplies.
DLA was tasked to provide 15 million N95 masks, 1 million test kits and 704 oxygen concentrators in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led effort. The Embassy of India in Washington D.C. requested assistance from the U.S. Department of State April 24 for medical supplies and equipment.
“We remain closely integrated with the White House, National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and USAID to help clarify ways DLA can assist,” said Dave Kless, the agency’s executive director of operations.
DLA employees began coordinating interagency support to India last week and worked during the weekend to outline commodities the agency could provide, current stock levels and locations, contracting options and delivery timelines.
DLA Troop Support, which has provided over 3.5 billion in items ranging from ventilators to gowns and gloves to support the U.S. response, is also standing by to provide other supplies to India if directed. The agency has 14 field hospitals pending shipment to U.S. Southern Command that could be redirected to India if needed, for example.
This is not DLA’s first COVID-19-related humanitarian support. DLA Troop Support is providing $1.3 million in pharmaceuticals to the Paraguay Ministry of Health for COVID-19 patients in intensive care, and DLA Disposition Services has provided excess property including beds for use in international quarantine facilities.