U.S. Department of Defense

06/05/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/05/2020 06:44

Essential Workers Meet Increased Mail Demand at Navy Facility

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced most Americans to stay home, many people who were considered essential and the lifeblood of the country stayed on the job, in most cases with an increased workload. The civilians and sailors at the Naval Supply Systems Command's Fleet Logistics Center San Diego Regional Navy Mail Facility were among those essential personnel and have taken on up to 10 times the amount of mail than usual.

We have some of the best sailors and civilians working here ... They are the reason why we haven't skipped a beat since the start of the pandemic - true professionals who are making it happen."
James Weber, deputy postal director, San Diego Regional Navy Mail Facility

The mail facility is operated by 35 sailors and civil service employees who normally screen and process about a ton of mail every day. Since the COVID-19 crisis caused the shutdown of malls and other brick-and-mortar stores, people have been exclusively shopping online, which exceedingly increased the throughput for the mail facility.

Now, the mail facility processes an average of 6 to 7 tons of mail per day. James Weber, the deputy postal director, said the massive mail load the sailors and civilians have taken on doesn't overwhelm them because of the positive attitudes and esprit de corps.

"We have some of the best sailors and civilians working here," he stated. "They are the reason why we haven't skipped a beat since the start of the pandemic - true professionals who are making it happen."

Supply Systems
The Naval Supply Systems Command's Fleet Logistics Center San Diego Regional Navy Mail Center has seen an exponential increase in mail being processed since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic
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Photo By: Katesha Washington, Navy
VIRIN: 200511-N-TF546-007M

The mail facility team provides postal support to 252 Navy and Marine Corps units in the metro San Diego area, with more than 350 weekly mail stops and six official mail centers, so everyone's attention to detail and expert organizational skills are imperative to mission accomplishment. Just in one day, for example, the mail facility received, screened and processed for distribution, nearly 100,000 pounds of mail for six ships.

Weber said he is extremely proud of the grueling work his teammates are doing and appreciates their willingness to go above and beyond their assigned tasks.

"If people could see the amount of mail that we process every day now that we are living through this pandemic, people would be shocked that we are getting it done with such a small team," he said. "But we are doing it, and I, along with the entire management team, are right in the trenches getting our hands dirty. It's quite impressive, and I am proud of the fact that we are helping people get through this thing together. It's what the FLC San Diego family is all about."

Handling Mail
Navy Seaman Recruit Hector Rivera, a logistics specialist with Naval Supply Systems Command's Fleet Logistics Center San Diego Regional Navy Mail Center, prepares to move a package from a security screening system at the unit's mail facility in San Diego, May 11, 2020. The mail facility has seen an exponential increase in mail being processed since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Photo By: Katesha Washington, Navy
VIRIN: 200511-N-TF546-006

With no vaccine yet discovered and more cases of the virus being reported, the increased workload will continue. The team is ready and willing to meet and exceed their customers' expectations.

Fleet Logistics Center San Diego is one of eight fleet logistics centers under Naval Supply Systems Command, headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, the command's mission is to provide supplies, services and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighters.

(Katesha Washington is assigned to Navy Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center San Diego.)