By Mrs. Rachel C Selby (AMC)March 12, 2019
Pine Bluff Arsenal continues its long time mission of the Care of Supplies and Storage or COSIS, and surveillance of the Chemical Protective Deployable Medical Systems or CP DEPMEDS. This mission has expanded into a warehouse and kitting configuration initiative.
The CP DEPMEDS are currently stored in MILVANs (Military Owned Demountable Shipping Containers). All shelf-life, COSIS and surveillance activities require each MILVAN to be emptied of its contents, screened, tested and repacked according to the load plans. The initiative, according to the statement of work, will "identify and modernize existing warehouse for storage to reduce lead times, increase readiness and provide more environmentally stable storage conditions".
"The warehouse initiative started about 18 months ago," said Justin Lieber, project manager with the Arsenal's Directorate of Business Operations. "We are utilizing vertical space here on the installation for this operation. This has really never been done before. We are taking a warehouse facility, and instead of using only one layer we are taking it up to four shelving systems high. We are also using narrow-aisle fork trucks for the first time."
Lieber said the Arsenal's Directorate of Material Management will manage the stock, store and issue of the material within the four warehouses, which are located on the northern part of the installation. "They will still run everything according to their regulations," he said. MM will issue material to the Arsenal's Directorate of Chemical and Biological Defense Operations as needed, in order to support the requirements and urgent needs of our customers.
"MM will just follow a standard procedure -- stock, store and issue of items in the warehouse. If CBD says they need something, MM will get everything needed and bring them to an area on the south end of the installation. It is about a five mile distance," said Lieber. "The shelf-life testing will be easier. As changes are made to items it will also be easier to replace the items as needed versus having everything pre-packed. When the items were pre-packed, everything had to be pulled out and then put back in which at times was a challenge."
A meeting was held the end of January with representatives from the Joint Project Manager -- Protection. "We went over the Scope of Work and discussed each phase of the project," said Lieber. "We have just completed phase three and are getting ready to start phase four; loading the warehouses as CB Mobile Power performs surveillance on the next two hospital kits.
Currently, there are 12 hospitals on the installation. "Ten MILVANs are used for each hospital. So there are 120 MILVANS total on post right now," said Marcus Burris, CBD Mobile and Powered Project Coordinator. "This project will create a hub of support for the hospitals."
The warehouse series being used for this project, initially built in 1952, served at that time as three-sided bulk material sheds. In 1991, according to information from Burris, additional construction was completed to fully enclose each warehouse. Overhead and personnel doors were added at that time. The Arsenal's Directorate of Public Works began working on the warehouse in March 2018.
To start, two out of the 12 hospitals will be placed in the warehouses, said Lieber. "Work is still being completed on the warehouses which are about 90 percent completed," he said. "DPW is about 12 weeks ahead of schedule."
This project is a collaborative effort between the Arsenal, the Joint Project Manager -- Protection and the U.S. Medical Material Development Activity. "Funding came from the Office of the Surgeon General," said Lieber. "The project bridge between chemical and medical. It has homes in both."