During the COVID-19 pandemic, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka is going above and beyond to protect and support its Sailors, civilians and their families during their restriction of movement (ROM) period.
Upon arrival to Japan, new personnel reporting to NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Site Sasebo must enter ROM, typically in the Navy Lodge or unaccompanied housing onboard Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo (CFAS) and remain there for 14 days to prevent COVID-19 transmission, before beginning their official duties at their new command. After 14 days, individuals must produce a negative COVID-19 test and be free of symptoms to successfully exit ROM.
“It is our intent that even during ROM, incoming personnel and their families recognize they are part of the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka family,” said Lt. Thomas Knowles, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Site Sasebo logistics support officer. “This effort would not have been possible without the support from the all the personnel here for sponsoring and providing donations for COVID bags.”
The Site Sasebo team created a plan to ensure all incoming personnel had open lines of communication with their counterparts and issued “COVID-19 bags” that included abundant cleaning materials and personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, anti-bacterial cleaners, sanitizers, wipes, water bottles and other necessities.
Assignments were issued to Site Sasebo personnel to allow for constant around-the-clock support of Sailors and families in ROM, teaming up with the Sasebo Morale, Welfare and Recreation library to provide books and movies, performing runs to the commissary or even making runs to the Navy Exchange to purchase pillows or toys for children.
"We typically provide a high level of logistical support to our customers,” said Senior Listed Advisor, Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Keona Johnson. “But this time, we are supporting our new shipmates, team members and their families, who are now part of our NAVSUP team for the next few years. Our team wanted to ensure a smooth transition to the command and provide them a few necessities upon their arrival”.
Both Johnson and Knowles provide oversight for all Sasebo incoming sailors and NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka personnel coming into Japan to verify that ROM procedures are followed in order to safeguard the workforce’s health.
In addition to providing items, Site Sasebo personnel check in frequently to ask if those in ROM are showing any symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, dry cough, loss of taste or smell and more. Furthermore, as the COVID-19 environment rapidly changes, CFAS, Commander, Navy Region Japan and NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka often introduce new policies and protective measures to limit COVID-19 transmission, which are communicated to the families in ROM by Site Sasebo personnel.
For Sailors, civilians and their families, going through a permanent change of duty station can be challenging situation, especially for those going overseas for the first time, adding the COVID-19 pandemic into the equation adds additional challenges.
“These outstanding efforts for incoming personnel make a positive impact on the mindset of incoming personnel during these challenging times,” said Capt. Edward Pidgeon, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka commanding officer. “Daily, I challenge my team to remain a world class workforce by fostering our growth through training, education and quality-of-life support. These actions represent the best of this command.”
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka is one of eight FLCs 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.