Deployable Contracting Team Aids Humanitarian Mission in Fiji
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Doctors, nurses and health care professionals seek to mend and help heal those who are injured, broken or in need of medical attention but they cannot do their jobs without needed facilities, instruments and supplies in place.
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka deployed contracting officers from May 28 to Jun. 20 in support of the USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) port visit to the island nation of Fiji as part of Pacific Partnership 2015 (PP15).
Pacific Partnership is the largest humanitarian and disaster response mission in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and is a joint effort sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which brings together U.S. military personnel, foreign militaries, host and partner nations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international agencies to build stronger relationships and develop disaster response capabilities throughout the region.
USNS Mercy is a massive example of how to get first-class medical care where you need it, no matter how remote the location. As one of two U.S. Navy hospital ships, this converted San Clemente-class supertanker is equivalent to the height of a 10-story building and the length of three football fields, containing 12 fully-equipped operating rooms and a 1,000 bed hospital facility.
Prior to the Mercy pulling into the Fijian coastal waters NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Deployable Contracting Officers (DKOs) had already hit the ground running making sure the various ship support contractors and husbanding service providers were performing in accordance with contract terms and conditions.
These DKOs were also boots on the ground in Fiji to satisfy emerging requirements, like making sure invoices are paid, said Bengu Isguder, a U.S. Navy civilian DKO and member of NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka’s Far East Contracting Department.
“This job requires a DKO to be creative and react fast to satisfy the emerging requirements to support the customer for successful mission completion in a short period of time,” said Isguder. “It gets challenging considering the limited amount of funds provided by the customer and the limited amount of time I have to complete the needed contract actions to satisfy the customer's requirements for mission success,” adding that the job also requires constant communication between customers (the ships), contractors and herself.
“I must always be available and reachable by the contractors and customers, for any questions they might have,” Isguder said.
This leg work by the contracting team help lead the Mercy’s crew to accomplish their mission of working alongside Fijian military, government and health professionals treating thousands of patients, conducting public health engagements and constructing new school facilities.
“When we see results of our work, like the construction projects of the engineers, building two schools in Fiji and you see the patients who are happy about the medical treatment that they have received during this mission or you see the small businesses in the countries we visit and award contracts in, grow and benefit that country's economy…it makes all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it,” said Isguder.
“Our DKOs and entire contracting team works tirelessly in support of our customers, it is especially gratifying to know that their hard work directly results in the success of such missions like Pacific Partnership, which brings that humanitarian assistance across this theater to the people who need it the most,” said Sherry Bonaiuto, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Far East Contracting Department, Deputy Director. “I am extremely proud of our team.”
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), is the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, headquartered just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the enterprise networks more than 20 sites from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam with a mission to serve the Asia Pacific Region’s forward deployed maritime warfighter with around-the-clock logistics support.