Operation United Assistance (OUA), the U.S. military’s mission to fight the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, has received critical logistics services from Crowley Holdings Inc. for the past six months.
The company has supplied emergency shipping, warehousing, trucking, stevedoring, customs brokerage and other logistics capabilities, first to the U.S. Government’s Defense Logistics Agency and now to the U.S. Army in both Liberia and Senegal, Africa.
In response to last year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa the U.S. Government dedicated $6.2 billion and thousands of troops to provide command and control over the outbreak, logistics training and engineering support for the construction of specially designed medical facilities in the areas hardest hit.
Crowley's efforts have ultimately supported the more than 3,000 deployed U.S. troops and made possible the construction of 17 fully stocked, remote Ebola treatment centers.
The mission began in September, when Crowley’s Bleu Hilburn, director, logistics, received notice that logistics support in West Africa was needed. Within a week, the company had personnel on site and provided to DLA the innovative solution to charter the container ship Vega, a fast and safe transportation option that provided the cargo carrying capacity of 17 C17 Globemaster military transport aircrafts in a single run from Germany to the staging area of Dakar, Senegal, and final destination in Buchanan, Liberia. The company also established eight warehouses for the distribution of humanitarian aid and construction supplies and trucked more than 4,000 loads of cargo to often-remote construction sites in Liberia.
Hilburn also credited the mission’s success to the hiring of more than 500 local employees, who openly adopted the company’s safety culture when working.