(*Note: This message was issued on May 1, 2020, and may not reflect the most current situation for DLA employees. Please refer to the DLA Coronavirus Guidance page for current information on operating status of DLA workplaces, and guidance and protocols for DLA employees who are in the workplace, teleworking, or on weather and safety leave.)
I’d like to start this message by thanking you for the dedication, flexibility and teamwork I’ve seen demonstrated in all corners of our Agency during this unprecedented global crisis. You’ve taken the proverbial bull by the horns and have successfully served our customers and your fellow citizens. Because of this, our Agency has become a leading player in the federal government’s response efforts in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to your efforts, (as of May 1, 2020) DLA has:
- Executed more than 5,300 contract actions worth more than $1 billion.
- Procured medical facilities with 92 million gloves, 4 million N95 respirators, 8,000 ventilators, and 2.5 million gowns for healthcare workers.
- Stocked the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy – the two U.S. Navy hospital ships that rapidly deployed to hot spots on both coasts to treat our fellow Americans – with more than $14 million in protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, fuel, food and repair parts.
- Procured 1.5 million face shields for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- Awarded a contract at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for 60 Critical Care Decontamination Systems and associated services to decontaminate N95 respirator masks, each one capable of sanitizing 80,000 masks per day for reuse.
You’ve managed these feats in the face of significant obstacles. We have had to limit personnel reporting to our worksites, so nearly 65% of our civilian workforce is teleworking situationally, often while also caring for school-aged children or other family members as schools, daycare centers, and elder care facilities are closed indefinitely. Our ability to conduct many of our operations remotely has served the Agency well during this period.
At the same time, our Distribution, Disposition and supply chain warehouse workforce has continued onsite “no-fail” operations in a safe and professional manner while dramatically and expeditiously ramping up mission output. Throughout this ordeal, DLA’s warehousing workforce, first responders, and certain other mission-critical employees have been part of the nation’s essential lifeblood.
I know many of you are wondering, “How long will we be operating under these circumstances?” and “What’s next?” The short answer is we aren’t sure yet, but a multi-disciplined team from across the Enterprise is working on a phased plan to guide DLA back to full-scale operations. They are aligning federal and DoD guidelines into a framework that also considers local decisions and conditions in order to resume operations for a deliberate return of our employees to DLA worksites.
None of this will happen overnight. Reconstituting our Agency will require that we continue to be diligent and flexible. We’ll be aiming for consistency where practical, but keeping safety at the forefront and recognizing that mitigation measures will vary based on work environment. The factors to be assessed include local-area trends in reported COVID-19 illnesses, documented cases, and hospital capacity, as well as accessibility of schools and daycare facilities, and availability of public transportation where applicable. State and local statutes and emergency orders affecting DLA work locations will also factor into operating status decisions. The plan under development will provide a central source of information and a consistent foundation for local decisions in coordination with our labor partners.
Success in our efforts will require all of us to continue to practice good hygiene; stay home when ill; and adhere to state and local instructions and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), particularly with respect to face coverings.
As we complete these plans, we will pass direction through your chain of command. For now, continue to operate as we have been, performing our mission-essential functions, leveraging telework, and balancing mission requirements while protecting our workforce.
We hope to provide more guidance as early as next week, and we remain committed to sharing as much information as we can with our workforce. Please continue to stay informed, including visiting the DLA Coronavirus website.
I continue to be proud and honored to be your DLA Director; you are truly this agency’s “secret sauce.” May you and your families stay safe, and my heartfelt thanks for all you have done and continue to do.
DARRELL K. WILLIAMS
Defense Logistics Agency
8725 John J. Kingman Road
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6221