SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –
Defense Logistics Agency employees teamed with members of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, U.S. Southern Command and Soto Cano Air Base mid-July to equip COVID-19 response centers and quarantine camps in Honduras with $2.2 million in donated property.
Title 10, U.S.C. 2557 permits donation of excess, non-lethal Defense Department supplies and equipment to partner nations for humanitarian assistance purposes. DSCA provides oversight and overall program management, as well as funding through Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid appropriation.
The donated property included beds, chairs, cabinets, microwave ovens, freezers, ceiling fans, vehicles, portable shower units and forklifts.
“Since the equipment was already in country, DSCA worked with DLA Disposition Services, Security Cooperation Office Honduras and State Department personnel to facilitate the necessary transactions, documentation and distributions to ensure accountability of the donation to the partner nation,” said Carol Fix, DLA Disposition Services Reutilization, Transfer and Donation specialist.
Fix said the RTD staff screens excess property to remove controlled items and works with DLA Disposition Services employees in the field to process transfers. She and colleague Sheila Everest worked with Disposition Services Representative Marny Harrison, who handles receipts for excess property in the Cape Canaveral region.
Harrison also helped complete paperwork needed to remove the property from the Logistics Readiness Center, 407th Army Field Support Brigade, supply records, allowing it to be received in-place in Honduras. The HAP team at the Marine Corps Logistics Base at Albany, Georgia, worked with SOUTHCOM officials to receive and distribute the equipment to the Honduran Disaster Response Agency, which is similar to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Wendy Bustillo, the HAP manager in Honduras, said Norma Padilla, a 407th AFSB supply support officer, and Javier Rios, a contractor supporting the unit, provided “tremendous support during the entire process.” The property helped local COVID-19 response efforts and should also strengthen the Honduran Disaster Response Agency’s ability to respond to emergencies and natural and manmade disasters, she added.
Fix said she enjoys helping customers and especially loves helping people by working humanitarian aid requests.
“I was born to do it,” Fix said. “Sometimes I feel like a social worker for the Defense Department because I know this property is going to a place where they really have a need. It really feels good.”
Everyone in RTD makes an extra effort to fill requests for urgent needs whether it is for humanitarian needs, disaster relief or other emergencies, she added.
“I think all of DLA works that way, bending over backwards to help the customer,” Fix said.
Harrison, who has seen firsthand the needs in Honduras, also enjoyed working on the request.
“The folks receiving this property will put it to good use,” he said, adding that transferring Army property in-place rather than pulling it from other locations saved time and money.