More than 18,000 maps have been distributed by the Defense Logistics Agency [DLA] Aviation Customer Operations Directorate’s Mapping Customer Operations Division to support the effort to contain the Ebola virus in West Africa.
The division is working with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and U.S. Africa Command to identify, track, validate and support map needs for personnel deploying as part of Operation United Assistance, the Defense Department operation supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development-led effort in Africa.
“We started tracking requisitions in early September,” said Kevin Bettis, chief of the MCO Division. “The initial surge required DLA Document Services to print more than 4,000 map products within 48 hours.”
Bettis’ team is working with NGA Geospatial Intelligence Information ServicesDirector Dale Kornuta and USAFRICOM Geospatial Information and Services Officer Army Chief Warrant Officer Jason Davis to make sure personnel in Africa get the aeronautical, topographical, digital and hydrographic maps they need.
“Our operational tempo has increased, and we are giving priority to OUA requirements and moving them to the top of the work queue,” Bettis said. “The maps display critical flight information [and] geographical ground reference points and assist in planning logistical points to support mission requirements.”
DLA Aviation’s mapping mission is a collaborative effort between the field activity, DLA Distribution, DLA Document Services and NGA, Bettis said. Customers submit requirements, NGA provides the print files, DLA Document Services prints the maps, and DLA Distribution ships them to customers.
Jeff Farmer, chief of the division’s Inventory Management Branch, said requisitions for OUA maps have come from a variety of sources.
“Requisitions for DLA-managed mapping products in support of OUA have been received from all U.S military branches of service, representing such places as Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, Texas, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, McChord Air Force Base, Washington, and Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia,” Farmer said. “Civilian defense contractors, federal agencies and foreign exchange partners have also placed requisitions.”
About 8,400 of the required maps were filled through products already in DLA’s inventory, Farmer said. An additional 10,000 maps were printed through DLA Document Services’ on-demand print process, with 4,000 were of those printed in Richmond, Virginia.
Customers received maps that were already stocked within 24 hours, Bettis said. Most on-demand products are delivered within three days.
The MCO Division communicates almost daily with Kornuta and Davis to gather intelligence on regional developments, such as new construction, that need to be reflected on future maps.
Due to Ebola’s spread in West Africa, NGA is producing several new atlases of the region for the DLA Map Catalog, where they will be available for ordering. Those atlases will be produced on-demand by DLA Document Services.
Reprinted from DLA News.