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NAVAL AIR STATION FALLON, Nev. - Navy postal officials from Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center San Diego are improving quality of life for single Sailors at Naval Air Station Fallon with the implementation of Intelligent Mail Locker System, aka smart lockers, for delivering personal mail packages.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, NAVSUP FLCSD postal personnel came up with the idea to incorporate the smart locker technology used for tenant commands in support of the Single Sailor Program (SSP).
“During the pandemic, it was evident that the system in place for single Sailors living at Bachelor Enlisted Quarters was not a great option. Sailors at BEQ often had to receive personal mail at their sponsoring command’s address, due to limited delivery services,” explained Robert Shaw, NAVSUP FLCSD regional mail postal manager. “Now, with the smart lockers, Sailors are able to pick-up personal mail at their leisure.”
According to Shaw, the first IMLS installed by NAVSUP FLCSD was at Commander, Navy Region Southwest in San Diego, California in Oct. 2020. The IMLS was set up for command official mail only and effectively replaced an old Navy Mail Room. The IMLS electronically notifies the mail managers and mail orderlies of incoming official mail for the base tenant commands. NAVSUP FLCSD currently operates four IMLS. The next planned installation is for NAS Lemoore.
Coordination of IMLS procurement involved discussions with NAVSUP postal operations (SUP 0454), who then worked with NAVSUP Contracting to obtain funding. Under the management of SUP 0454, enterprise postal teams are working to install IMLSs at installations around the world.
According to Dale Pinchart, NAVSUP postal operations program manager, NAVSUP FLCs across the world operate 48 individual IMLSs. NAVSUP enterprise IMLSs currently average 15,000 contactless deliveries a month. NAVSUP postal teams have successfully installed IMLSs at 10 locations across the enterprise and SUP 0454 is working to outfit 14 additional locations by the fall of 2024.
“At headquarters, we monitor global usage to identify trends which may lead to expansion,” said Pinchart. “We expect to reach 20,000 deliveries by summer, as more lockers are brought on line and postal personnel across the enterprise are able to realize efficiency gains.”
The execution of the IMLS program epitomizes the Navy’s “Get Real, Get Better” mindset. Several NAVSUP FLCs postal teams evaluated their current mail programs and developed a tangible, specific quality of life solution to alleviate some of the issues Sailors experienced when receiving personal mail.
The IMLS eliminates the need for individual post office boxes and SSP participants no longer need to have personal packages delivered to their sponsoring command’s official mailing address.
Sailors who received personal mail at their sponsoring command’s address were immediately impacted by the pandemic when many commands began operating on a limited basis. On top of that, Sailors reported that between their busy work schedules and standing watch, it was difficult for them to get to the post office during the limited hours of operation.
“With the smart lockers now operational and fully integrated, not only are packages available for self-service pickup 24/7, but the new system even sends the Sailor an e-mail notification when a package is ready for pick up,” said Shaw, “taking the guess work out of package tracking.”
The meticulous process of setting up the IMLS for single Sailors was a team effort. NAVSUP FLCSD deputy site director, Henry Huntsberry, NAVSUP FLCSD mail assistant Antonio Belicena and the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) housing manager, Shelly Carter, all worked together to develop a standard operating plan (SOP) to incorporate Sailors attached to the SSP into the IMLS.
The team worked arduously on site developing the SOP and creating P.O. Box addresses in conjunction with the United States Postal Service Address Management System, ensuring the IMLS software would be ready for the inclusion of SSP personal mail.
“The intelligent mail locker systems are a significant quality of life improvement for both single Sailors and NAVSUP customers worldwide,” said Pinchart. “We appreciate everyone’s efforts to help move postal forward with technology, while improving the customer and postal employee experience.”
This initiative recognizes the interdependence between Sailor quality of life and morale, and subsequently, its effects on fleet readiness.
Currently 110 BEQ residents at NAS Fallon, single Sailors and geographic bachelors, have access to the IMLS for personal mail. The software is updated on a regular basis to accommodate residents who check in or out of the barracks.
“If the Sailor is attached to NAS Fallon and resides in the BEQ, they are authorized to use the smart locker. Once they are registered in the system, they are ready to receive mail.” said Belicena.
Along with convenience, using the IMLS offers Sailors a financial advantage.
“Using the smart locker is free. Sailors now have access to a free and secure mailbox,” said Huntsberry. “Plus, they do not have to go out of their way to pick up mail, saving them both time and money.”
With the successful integration of the IMLS at NAS Fallon, NAVSUP FLCSD postal is working to expand the program to service additional BEQs within Navy Region Southwest.
“We hope all of the Navy installations served by NAVSUP FLCSD postal operations will have smart lockers available for single Sailors. Until then, we will keep working towards that goal and do our best to make a positive impact on the morale of all those in the Single Sailor Program,” said Shaw.
Editor’s note: Installation of Intelligent Mail Lockers was first reported by Brian Davis, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound.
NAVSUP FLC San Diego is one of eight FLCs under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, NAVSUP employs a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 25,000 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP and the Navy Supply Corps conduct and enable supply chain, acquisition, operational logistics and Sailor & family care activities with our mission partners to generate readiness and sustain naval forces worldwide to prevent and decisively win wars. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsup and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom
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