Defense Logistics Agency personnel recently played a key role in the donation of 1,300 padded cots to the Philippines’ COVID-19 response effort.
The U.S. Army field cots were originally procured for use by military participants during the springtime Exercise Balikatan held annually between Filipino, U.S., and Australian troops. When the event was cancelled at the end of March due to travel restrictions and social distancing, U.S. Indo Pacific Command officials sought a way to quickly donate the cots alongside a $4 million U.S. State Department health assistance package announced April 10 by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim.
As the Defense Department’s primary authority on the disposal, transfer, and donation of used and excess military equipment, DLA Disposition Services staff in Battle Creek, Michigan, and the Pacific quickly found a way for the Army to make the donation through the Humanitarian Assistance Program.
HAP is run by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which supports U.S. policy interests and objectives identified by the White House, DOD and the State Department. Through HAP, relief supplies such as floodlights, generators, medical equipment and tents that are declared excess or which no longer meet military standards are routinely funneled to emergency hot spots around the world.
As military authorities secured White House endorsement for the cot donation, DLA personnel completed legal paperwork involved in transferring the military items. Those who helped prepare the Army for the property turnover include: Reuse, Transfer and Donation Branch Chief David Neill, Property Disposal Specialist Carol Fix, members of the Disposition Services counsel, DLA Disposition Services Pearl Harbor Area Manager Kirk Buckner, DLA Disposition Services Pacific Director Faron Cordrey and the DLA Indo-Pacific Commander Navy Capt. Kristin Acquavella.
After days of close coordination across DOD and DOS, Buckner officially accepted about $187,000 in cots from the Army and added them to DLA’s accountable record on April 8. The next morning, Neill issued the cots to the DSCA Humanitarian Assistance Office for donation via the U.S. Embassy to Philippine Office of Civil Defense officials.
“I’m pleased to be able to hand over these new cots on behalf of the U.S. government to our Philippine partners,” Kim said. “We stand together with the Philippines, as both of our nations work to save lives and protect our people in the fight against COVID-19.”
An embassy statement said cots were also provided to Department of Health medical workers at the Philippine General Hospital.