BRUSSELS -- When the stop-movement order from the secretary of defense was issued in late March to help slow the spread of COVID-19, logistical operations, including those at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux, had to suddenly pivot their operations.The Logistics Readiness Center - Benelux (LRC), 405th Army Field Support Brigade, a mission partner of the garrison, oversees transportation, supplies and other services for the garrison’s sites, which are spread over Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.When USAG Benelux began their COVID-19 response, they set up several task forces, and the LRC was in charge of Task Force Logistics.David Kalita, the director of LRC and the lead for Task Force Logistics, said the two biggest impacts to the LRC have been to transportation and supplies.In the matter of supplies, the demand from the garrison changed suddenly, and the LRC had to fulfill a large, sudden requirement for personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies. Once the LRC had determined the new demand level, they also made plans for future changes of demand that could result from COVID-19.“We receive things several times a week from multiple sources,” said Kalita. “And we will continue to do that through this current situation, and then we’ve also been directed to keep a certain amount of those things on hand in case.”Kalita said that if a further wave of infections were to prompt another increase in demand for personal protective equipment and sanitation supply, the garrison would have the supply on hand so they would not have to be “scrambling to get things.”Robert Carter, the chief of the Supply and Services Division, LRC, attributes the flexibility of his division to meet the demands of the COVID-19 response to the skills his employees bring to the workforce.“It gives you the opportunity to excel or succeed in many areas that you may never have thought in times past that you were going to do,” he said of the garrison environment. “In this case here (COVID-19), it’s really showcased my personnel, my entire division’s ability to react on a short notice. … It amazes me on a regular basis.”As an example Carter gave, personnel within the garrison’s Directorate of Emergency Services ¬¬– military police, gate guards, firefighters – required personal protective equipment to do their jobs. Army medical personnel are typically only allowed to order the equipment the DES needed, and the equipment is supplied through a different class of warehouse that uses a different ordering system and software. Carter said that this was not something he himself had to oversee his personnel adapt to but was something they learned and coordinated on their own.“No one had to stand there over top of them,” he said. “All they had to do was listen to the guidance from the commander’s (Col. Sean Kuester’s) update brief.“The Benelux garrison, we’re so connected in everything that we do and the way they treat us as Family, as one of their own,” Carter continued, “and it’s a joy for us to get to do the same in return.”He also saw the LRC’s adaptability to the COVID-19 response as a byproduct of the major mission they were taking part in, European Infrastructure Consolidation. The European Infrastructure Consolidation includes the turning over of property at Caserne Daumerie, the former site of the garrison headquarters, and at the Schinnen site in Netherlands, two projects that took the LRC beyond routine operations and required planning and coordination.“I would say that since about January or February of 2019, this LRC has not been working as business as usual,” Carter said. “And I think that might have led into and allowed us to segue into this environment we’re in now without missing a beat to some degree.”As to transportation, the stop movement order put on pause most people moving to or from the garrison, with a few exceptions, like those who are retiring or separating from service and those whose positions are considered mission essential, and more. Those individuals and Families who were suddenly caught in transition coordinated with Task Force Personnel ( The shipment of their belongings, however, the LRC coordinates.Anthony Atkins, chief of the Transportation Division, LRC, said most of the coordination that could be done has been done.“We’ll get 85 percent of the work done ahead of time,” he said. “The only thing we can’t do is book it for them and confirm the dates.”Atkins said that a lot of the moves that had been scheduled for March and April have been pushed ahead to August. And although he believes the LRC is fully capable of handling what comes their way once restrictions lift, he foresees a bottleneck among commercial carriers, through which LRC contracts moves. When shipments begin again, he asks customers to be patient.“We’re going to provide the best service that we can that’s within our capability,” he said. “Please understand that these are unique situations, so don’t think that the logistics community is not thinking about you.”