Guard members complete mission to supply critical PPE during COVID-19 pandemic
Story by Spc. Jessica Silhavy, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (07/29/21)
Since mid-September 2020, the Ohio National Guard aided in distributing personal protective equipment to Ohioans in need at the Ohio Department of Health’s Receive, Store and Stage warehouse.
When COVID-19 hit Ohio in March 2020, there was a high demand for personal protective equipment, or PPE, specifically for health care professionals and essential workers in Ohio. The Receive, Store and Stage (RSS) warehouse mission supported this critical need by working with the Ohio Department of Health and various medical facilities throughout Ohio, to help facilitate the distribution of PPE.
On any given day, the warehouse would see up-to 15 semi-truck deliveries of important medical equipment such as gloves, masks and gowns. The supplies were accounted for, inventoried, stored or directly shipped out to locations across the state. About 40 Ohio National Guard members supported the operation, along with approximately 60 employees from the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Expositions Center.
“We never failed to get a truck loaded and out as directed, I can attest 100% of our mission to get PPE out was supported and on time,”
“We never failed to get a truck loaded and out as directed, I can attest 100% of our mission to get PPE out was supported and on time,” said Master Sgt. Benjamin Cully, the 178th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management flight chief and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the RSS warehouse mission. Cully said they were able to develop solutions on how to handle the storage of the massive amount of PPE at the warehouse.
This mission successfully met the needs of Ohio and its residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and has officially been closed. The military personnel have now completed their active-duty tours or were reassigned to other COVID-19 logistical support missions.
According to Cully, even though most of the assigned personnel were not experienced in warehouse logistics, these Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen took charge of the operation and effectively answered the call to help Ohioans in need.