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Defense Logistics Agency Supports Wildfire Relief Effort

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2007 – In the midst of fires raging in California, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Department's largest combat support agency, has come to the aid of the thousands of evacuees and Marines and sailors supporting wildfire relief efforts by supplying the Federal Emergency Management Agency with meals and other supplies necessary to sustain the evacuees and fight fires.

DLA's Joint Logistics Operations Center is the DLA office responsible for coordinating and monitoring the agency’s support to federal and other Defense Department and government agencies. In response to a FEMA tasking, the JLOC and Defense Distribution Center coordinated the shipment of packaged meals from Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin, Calif., to March Air Reserve Base, just north of San Diego near Riverside, Calif.

Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin worked with the California Highway Patrol to coordinate escort assistance to ensure the trucks transporting the meals could quickly and safely get to displaced residents affected by the fires.

“I want to congratulate the warehousing team at (the depot) for their mobility and flexibility to meet the challenge of resources,” said the depot’s Shipping Division chief, Bob Mahan. “I stand in awe of the folks in shipment planning, truck control and customer service who never thought of getting up from their desks to leave at 3:30 p.m., but hunkered down and got the food rolling to those in need.”

Two hundred fourteen active-duty personnel, 72 Defense Department civilians and 2,492 National Guardsmen are engaged in either ground or airborne firefighting or security and relief operations, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

FEMA requested 42,624 packaged meals on Oct. 23, and the Marine Corps requested seven truckloads of the meals be delivered to Camp Pendleton, Calif. -- totaling 120,000 meals -- and an additional 600 meals went to the Naval Special Warfare Group at San Diego.

DLA also augmented FEMA's National Response Coordination Center with an onsite liaison officer to facilitate DLA support In addition to supporting FEMA, the Joint Logistics Operations Center also coordinated DLA's military support.

Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin also shipped 200 fire retardant gloves and 200 fire retardant coveralls to Camp Pendleton. Defense Supply Center Philadelphia coordinated the delivery of 200 additional fire retardant coveralls directly from vendors.

“The (packaged meals) will augment local-level efforts to provide subsistence to evacuees,” said Marine Lt. Col. Todd Lloyd, the JLOC's operations information management chief. “The fire retardant material will enable the United States Marine Corps to execute its mission in assisting the firefighting efforts.

“DLA stands ready to respond to any request for assistance that is received from FEMA, U.S. Northern Command or the military services” he said. “The JLOC is operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice in order to receive, process and support requests for assistance.”

DLA provides supply support, and technical and logistics services to the U.S. military services and several federal civilian agencies. With headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Va., the agency is the source for nearly every consumable item, whether for combat readiness, emergency preparedness or day-to-day operations inside the Department of Defense.

(From a Defense Logistics Agency news release.)

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