The Defense Logistics Agency has been working with the U.S. Postal Service since mid-January to package and distribute 500 million free home COVID-19 tests to U.S. households.
In response to the Omicron increase, the White House announced that the government would make free rapid tests available to all Americans. The White House instructed the Coordination Operation and Response Element of the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a COVID-19 test kit working group, which included members of the Department of Defense, HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Emergency Response and Prevention, and the United States Postal Service. to implement an end-to-end supply chain to deliver the tests. The DLA was tasked with distributing the tests to the USPS with a view to sending the final destination.
On January 19, the White House launched the website COVIDTests.gov for Americans to request the free COVID-19 tests at home, and by February 22, DLA Distribution sent over 305 million ordered tests – 1,133 trucks – to the USPS.
DLA Distribution receives and processes up to 82 incoming and outgoing truckloads daily; 52 at a DLA Distribution contracted warehouse in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, 25 at DLA Distribution San Joaquin, California, and five at a DLA Distribution contracted warehouse in Marengo, Indiana. A common operations center provides 24/7 tracking. It also delivers existing warehousing and distribution contracts that are being modified to ensure that workers and space requirements can meet the accelerated distribution plans.
“We are grateful for another opportunity to support the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. I know our team will once again demonstrate its expertise in the rapid distribution of critical supplies to mitigate the effects of this terrible virus,” said Colonel Trent. Conner, said head of DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.
As test kits arrive, DLA distribution workers read, stage, and complete paperwork. Defense Contract Management Agency teams at both department stores perform quality checks before sending test kits to USPS service centers in New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Indiana and California. From these hubs, the USPS handles the fulfillment and shipment of test kits to the American doorstep.
Sixteen DLA Distribution Expeditionary team members from New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, were deployed to Chambersburg with DLA Contingency Information Technology and Industrial Engineering Support to establish initial operations. The expedition team remained on site until systems were in place for about 30 contract staff, who took on the work at the end of January. A DLA Distribution Expedition team from San Joaquin also assists at the California location, where DLA employees handle the workload.
Brent Ingraham, CEO of DOD’s Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell, visited the Chambersburg Warehouse on February 8 to round out the operation and thank the entire government partners who support the mission.
“It was an absolute pleasure to witness the professionalism of the DLA and DCMA teams that carry out such an important mission for the American people. These agencies have performed exceptionally and there is a direct correlation in their performance to that dedication and feeling. of service that is demonstrated daily in these organizations, “he said.
DLA Distribution expects to receive up to 52 million tests, or 5,200 pallets, each week at both locations until the mission is complete. Outbound shipments will also flow daily to 12 USPS locations where COVID-19 cases increase.