KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NM. --
When the COVID-19 pandemic emergency began in March, many units on Kirtland Air Force Base faced a shortage in cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, items crucial to providing safe conditions for Team Kirtland to continue their critical missions.
The 377th Logistics Readiness Squadron took the initiative to develop a strategy to combat this. By the end of March, a plan was developed and already in motion to order supplies and begin distribution.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob A. Josleyn, 377th LRS ground transportation support non-commissioned officer in charge, says that due to being unable to buy supplies locally because of the shortage, it was easier to mass-order supplies for the wing.
“We started getting supplies within five days of the outbreak,” said Josleyn. “Within two weeks we had all the supplies we needed to give to our mission partners.”
A team of four, consisting of three Airmen and a contractor, worked to pre-package boxes with various cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer, bleach, disinfectant wipes, gloves and more. These boxes were then distributed through an organized drive-through line, allowing the team to safely provide the products to units in need.
“It took about five days total to distribute supplies to the whole installation,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Patrick J. Mackey, 377th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment and distribution superintendent.
Mackey added that the team worked about four hours a day and was able to distribute more than 21,300 masks and more than 6,000 boxes of supplies in less than 24 hours.
“No one on this base could have done their job [under required health protocols] without these cleaning supplies,” said Mackey. “We provided them the cleaning supplies they needed to fulfill their mission.”
This innovative teamwork allowed the wing and its mission partners to continue their missions safely and maintain the health and wellness of their members. It also established a path for other wings to implement the concept.
“We had no idea what we were getting into,” said Mackey. “No other wing in the 20th Air Force was doing that.”
Mackey said that this procedure is now used across the 20th Air Force.
The 377th LRS is continuing this project, as the demand for supplies to keep Team Kirtland and their units safe is a top priority.