KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- The Naval Sea Logistics Center (NSLC) supported the Navy’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic by supplying more than 13,000 N95 masks to Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) in March.
The N95 mask is fitted to create an airtight seal, allowing it to filter particulates out of the air, and is widely used by medical providers caring for COVID-19 patients.
Stephen Bryan, Operating Materials & Supplies (OM&S) Technical Support at NSLC, said CNIC needed the masks to ensure fire and emergency services could continue to function. Bryan said he was able to find 3,000 masks available at the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services (DLADS) in Letterkenny PA, which is one of the Department of Defense centers for excess property and unused equipment.
“It was a bit of a challenge to get them with some recent restrictions put in place on obtaining these medical-related supplies,” said Bryan. “Yet we were able to get them for CNIC.”
Bryan said NSLC saved the Navy over $3,000 by obtaining the masks for CNIC at no cost to the Navy through DLADS while enabling CNIC to keep its emergency services operating.
The hospital ship USNS Comfort’s deployment to New York City in March to support a possible surge in Coronavirus cases posed an even more critical need for N95 masks. The Comfort’s crew and medical providers needed the masks to protect their own health if the ship was called upon to care for Coronavirus patients. Bryan said the masks were found at NSLC’s OM&S warehouse located on board Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Philadelphia.
“Our NSLC staff at NSWC Philadelphia had asked for the masks so they could use them when sweeping dusty floors,” Bryan said. “Our folks there reminded our leadership they had them, and a few weeks later they were sent off to support the USNS Comfort.”
As with the shipment sent to CNIC, Bryan said NSLC was able to save the Navy money while quickly providing the needed masks.
“There were 100 cases with 100 masks each,” said Bryan. “That’s 10,000 masks, and we obtained them at no cost from DLADS some time ago. That saved the Navy over $30,000 while making sure the Comfort could deploy on time and fully equipped.”
NSLC’s fast work getting the N95 masks to the Comfort helped ensure the ship would be able to provide critical surge for New York City.
“We will continue to protect our own workforce’s health and safety in order to keep NSLC open for business,” Bryan said. “We are committed to finding ways to both save the Navy money and ensure our warfighters and caregivers are supplied with the tools they need.”
For more news from Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport, visit www.navy.mil/local/nuwcd/.