The Defense Logistics Agency is prepositioning necessities like food and fuel along the east coast for first responders who’ll support relief operations in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
The agency began preparations more than a week in advance of Dorian’s projected track. As the storm approached the Bahamas Aug. 29, DLA activated two deployable teams from DLA Distribution to set up operations at Federal Emergency Management Agency Incident Staging Bases at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama and Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. By Sept. 3, 280 trailers of supplies had arrived at the ISBs to support FEMA and other agencies poised to help residents and service members engaged in relief operations.
“DLA’s primary mission is to support our warfighters,” said DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams. “In national emergencies like recovery efforts for Hurricane Dorian we support DoD’s efforts to assist FEMA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as other federal and local agencies.”
The amount and types of supplies DLA provides depends on the needs of FEMA and U.S. Northern Command, which is orchestrating military support in the affected states, but pre-positioned supplies are based on previous relief efforts and early requests.
DLA Troop Support has provided 2,232 cases of ready-to-eat meals and 1 million shelf-stable commercial meals and is ready to ship 90 generators if requested. DLA Energy also positioned 71 fuel trucks carrying 122,000 gallons of diesel, gasoline and propane at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. And DLA Aviation has supplied almost 3,500 maps to the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal agencies.
Officials in DLA’s Agency Synchronization Operations Center are anticipating first responders’ needs and synchronizing the agency’s response through ongoing status calls with FEMA and USNORTHCOM. And personnel at the ASOC ISBs are prepared to move to 24-hour operations as first responders assess damage and determine specific needs. More than 56 employees are deployed.
As the DoD’s combat logistics supplier, DLA has the unique ability to provide large-scale commodity support and delivery of material typically needed in areas devastated by flooding and power outages. DLA has approval from the secretary of defense to deploy in support of relief efforts by FEMA, USNORTHCOM, U.S. Southern Command and USAID.