News | Jan. 26, 2021

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers assist U.S. Navy in logistics support of Ukraine medical supply mission

By Matthew Jones NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support

U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support helped deliver more than $3.2 million dollars in medical supplies to Ukraine as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. The delivery is part of a joint effort requiring cooperation between NAVSUP WSS and several other federal departments to ensure mission success.
 

“We were looking at more than 200 commercial pallets with a variety of complicated problems standing between the supplies at Joint Consolidation Point Mechanicsburg, PA and our partners in Ukraine,” said Colleen Distel-Smith, logistics management supervisor, NAVSUP WSS. To get this accomplished efficiently and accurately, medical logistics specialists from the U.S. Army Reserve were called in.

Soldiers from the 393rd Medical Logistics Company, 439th Medical Battalion, 332nd Medical Brigade—part of the Army Reserve’s 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support)—spent their annual training period in Mechanicsburg receiving, segregating, inspecting and inventorying more than 5,000 line items. In addition to removing supplies expected to pass their expiration date before arrival, the Soldiers cross-checked labels and packaging while verifying proper markings to ensure the supplies meet the specifications required by Ukrainian customs.

Spc. Mamadou Balde led the group of soldiers, which also included Spc. Dallas Bowie, Spc. Austin Saar and Spc. Tristian West.

The meticulous nature of the work required unique expertise, experience and attention to detail that the soldiers were able to deliver. Even the slightest problem could result in the supplies meeting further delays or becoming unusable.

“I can’t thank the U.S. Army Reserve enough,” Distel-Smith said. “They were definitely a great group and aided a great deal.”

The medical supplies were delivered to Ukraine in December and successfully cleared customs according to Scott Aughenbaugh, director, NAVSUP WSS Logistic Projects Office. The effort also yielded four pallets of expired supplies, which will be transferred to Defense Logistics Agency’s Disposition Services. DLA is responsible for the disposal of excess DOD personal property, foreign excess personal property, scrap, hazardous waste and property requiring demilitarization.

The effort was part of the Navy’s continued partnership with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and advances U.S. National Security and foreign policy interests by building the capacity of a partner nation.

The NAVSUP WSS Logistics Project Office is the Joint Consolidation Point managed under the auspices of the Defense Security Coordination Agency, Building Capacity Directorate, for support of operations and capacity building, training with foreign forces, Global Security Contingency Fund, and Maritime Security Initiative. They provides staging, consolidation, and transportation solutions, operating out of a 170,000-square-foot facility.

NAVSUP WSS is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsupwss and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom.