To provide more than 25 million cloth face masks to communities hard-hit by the pandemic, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Clothing and Textiles team members expedited contracting processes and worked hundreds of overtime hours.
In late February, the Department of Health and Human Services requested DLA’s help providing the masks to community centers across the country to support President Joe Biden’s National Strategy to defeat COVID-19. Locations include more than 1,400 federally qualified health centers, about 125 tribal organizations and 200 foodbanks for distribution to surrounding communities.
A pre-award contracting team headed by Clothing and Textiles Supplier Operations Director Steven Merch conducted market research and create a solicitation for American-made mask production within 10 days of the request.
Overall, the team compressed a typically six-month contract award process into six weeks, he said. The competitive acquisition resulted in numerous proposals and evaluations to determine whether solicitors could supply 100% Berry Compliant, or American-made, masks.
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