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American Forces Press Service

Defense Logisticians Stock Comfort's Shelves

By Diana Stewart
Special to American Forces Press Service

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 19, 2010 – When the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort’s crew cast off lines Jan. 16 and the ship headed for earthquake-ravaged Haiti, it did so with shelves stocked in part by Defense Logistics Agency team members here.

Officials from the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia's subsistence supply chain confirmed requests and requisitions for 6,000 cases of packaged meals and 100 pallets of water, while its medical supply chain received more than 300 requisitions for medical supplies.

Navy Capt. Alfredo Rackauskas, subsistence director, said the meals and water were provided from stock or sourced through the supply chain's prime vendor contracts. "My folks jumped in immediately to help make sure the Class I requirements [arrived] at the right place at the right time to support this critical mission," he said.

Army Col. Marsha Langlois, medical director, said all of her team's requisitions were expedited, with primary immediate support provided through prime vendor contracts. Medical supply chain personnel also were placed on board the Comfort while it was docked in Baltimore to assist crew members in placing and filling medical requisitions.

"Due to the forethought and experience of troop-support personnel, we [were] ready to support the immediate needs for Haiti," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott Chambers, the supply center’s commander.

The floating hospital is on its way to Haiti on an open-ended humanitarian mission. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Haiti on Jan. 21.

The Philadelphia supply center has a long history of supporting the USNS Comfort, as well as the Navy's other hospital ship, USNS Mercy, on humanitarian missions around the globe.

(Diana Stewart works at Defense Supply Center Philadelphia.)

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