Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, April 20, 2020 —
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, there has been a growing shortage of disinfecting products available to consumers, specifically hand sanitizer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidance allowing distilleries to produce hand sanitizer to accommodate the growing need — a need that was becoming widespread at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
To acquire more hand sanitizer, officers from multiple parts of the agency worked together to procure 45 gallons of hand sanitizer produced by a distillery in Maryland and one in Virginia.
After obtaining the hand sanitizer, the team faced the next challenge of how to refill the dispensers with the new product. This may sound like an easy task, but the dispensers at DIA facilities in the Washington, D.C. area are not designed or fabricated to be refilled.
“I thought it would be seven to 10 days for us to solve the refilling problem, which had two distinct problem sets, bottle and bag dispensers,” said Don Roy, chief of the Facilities Engineering Division.
To his surprise, with the technical expertise of DIA employees, it took less than a day to solve the refilling issues. The team developed a system to heat and reseal the bags and insert the new hand sanitizer into the bottles via a syringe.
Together, with the help of teleworking officers, the agency was able to locate distilleries, develop a technical solution to refill the current dispensers, and purchase a bulk of hand sanitizer to assist in ensuring the safety of the DIA workforce.
“The cooperation between all groups is strong because of long-standing relationships and collaboration,” Roy stated.
After the success of this procurement, DIA is working to deliver additional hand sanitizer to other DIA locations
As the nation continues to adapt to the changing world, DIA relies on the creativity and innovation of the workforce to advance its mission. Whether in the office or teleworking, DIA officers always find a way to do what matters.