September 2, 2008

Defense Logistics Agency Supports Hurricane Gustav Relief Efforts

FORT BELVOIR, Va., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As local, state and federal agencies took steps to support the nearly two million residents fleeing the path of Hurricane Gustav this weekend, Defense Logistics Agency employees were busy getting food, fuel and health kits to staging areas determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

DLA met FEMA's request for humanitarian support by providing 2.33 million Meals, Ready to Eat and nearly 1,000 health kits. More than 130,000 of the meals went to National Guard members activated to assist local authorities with security efforts. And each health kit provided by DLA was packed with enough supplies to support 10 people for 30 days.

The Defense Energy Support Center also sent 15,000 gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel and 5,300 gallons of unleaded gasoline to a FEMA staging area in Carville, La.

Interagency coordination with such agencies as FEMA and the U.S. Northern Command began as early as last Wednesday, according to Air Force Maj. Felix Cruz-Montanez, an operations officer for DLA's Joint Logistics Operations Center at Fort Belvoir, Va.

"We alerted our field activities early on that there would be a potential for extended operations, that we might have to provide support for Gustav," he said.

Through an interagency agreement with FEMA, DLA provides commodities needed for humanitarian assistance both in the United States and overseas. FEMA requests are first given to DLA's JLOC, which forwards them to supply centers.

"FEMA tells us what they need, where and on what date. We then send that information to the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia and the Defense Distribution Center at the same time so they can start making preparations," said Cruz-Montanez.

FEMA preorders MREs from DLA each year, and DLA stores them at distribution centers throughout the country until needed.

"In this instance, we shipped a lot of MREs from our facilities in Kansas City, Mo., and Albany, Ga.," said Cruz-Montanez. "We sent most of them to logistics staging areas or FEMA warehouses near the action so FEMA could move them out quickly."

The JLOC sprung into 24/7 operations on Saturday. In addition to providing MREs, fuel and health kits, the JLOC staff answered requests for information on tents, cots, blankets, additional health and comfort packs, and mortuary affairs items.

"A lot of these information requests were just so we'd know what was in stock in case more support was needed," he said.

Gustav was this season's strongest hurricane to hit the United States. The next major hurricane -- Hanna -- is expected to hit the United States by week's end.

"We're already watching that one. A lot of what we'll provide depends on the strength of the hurricane," said Cruz-Montanez, stressing that DLA's support goes to victims as well as members of task forces providing emergency and recovery operations.

DLA provides supply support, and technical and logistics services to the U.S. military services and several federal civilian agencies. Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., the agency is the one source for nearly every consumable item, whether for combat readiness, emergency preparedness or day-to-day operations. More information about DLA is available at

Defense Logistics Agency

CONTACT: DLA Public Affairs, +1-703-767-6200, [email protected]

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