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Master Logistics Support Representative Saby Guercia, assigned to Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella, assists an evacuee from Afghanistan in choosing household items at Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella. 

NAS SIGONELLA, Italy -

As thousands of Special Immigration Visa (SIV) applicants transited from Afghanistan through Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, Italy, and Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Spain, during Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella (NAVSUP FLCSI) leveraged its logistics support capacities and resources to support the humanitarian effort.

"We enthusiastically embrace our logistics support role, ensuring the evacuees have adequate food, medical supplies and quality-of-life services during their time with us," said Capt. Douglas S. MacKenzie, NAVSUP FLCSI commanding officer. "Assisting these qualified evacuees is the right thing to do, and on behalf of our NAVSUP team, we are very proud of our ability to support the Commander of Navy Region, Europe, Africa, Central, the installation Commanding Officers, and the inter-agency teams by providing world-class logistics support to this humanitarian mission at our bases in Sigonella and Rota, and we remain committed to meeting the needs of the Navy, Joint, Inter-Agency, NATO mission partners for the duration of this operation."

For OAW, NAVSUP's military and civilian logisticians adjusted focus of their logistics support mission sets temporarily to the evacuees, including refueling aircraft that land at and depart from NAS Sigonella.

During the weeks-long humanitarian operation, the command's fuels department refueled 90 commercial and military aircraft carrying SIV applicants and mission equipment so they could depart on schedule to their final destination.

"With this operation's high tempo, we've had to optimize our processes for obtaining and delivering fuel to NAS Sigonella," said Rey Santos, Regional Fuels deputy director. "Our fuels team set up an intuitive program which enabled a more proficient dispatching system. This forward posture allowed trucks to have a hose on the aircraft within 10 minutes of the fuel ladder being in place."

Santos added that NAVSUP FLCSI's fuels division delivered more than 511,000 gallons of aircraft fuel and 3,900 gallons of diesel fuel used to power the generators that had been placed around the installation.

Apart from fuels support, more than 100 of NAVSUP's military and civilian personnel were temporarily re-assigned from their normal duties to augment a number of base-wide logistics efforts.

Support efforts included inventorying and distributing mission-essential equipment and quality-of-life goods, escorting linguists to locations where they provided interpreting services, and preparing and maintaining the temporary housing facilities.

See photos here: https://youtu.be/_X2ysiKERTU

Normally assigned to the installation's logistics support center, Logistics Specialist Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Hanlon, NAVSUP FLCSI, became qualified to provide security for the perimeter of one of the temporary housing facilities during OAW while on temporary active duty orders with the base's security forces.

"Being a part of this operation means coming to work with a greater sense of purpose," Hanlon said. "Taking part in this humanitarian mission means something much larger than myself and I take great pride in playing my role. Not only am I accountable to the people in my command but now I have a responsibly to the thousands of these travelers seeking safety and refuge."

Known as the "Hub of the Med", NAS Sigonella's strategic location as the Navy's only overseas air station enables U.S, allied, and partner nation forces to deploy and respond as required to ensure security and stability across Europe and Africa. NAS Sigonella is currently supporting the Department of State mission to facilitate the safe departure and relocation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigration Visa recipients, and vulnerable populations from Afghanistan.

"Our logistics teams are giving their all to meet this surge," said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Duke Heinz, USEUCOM J4, Director of Logistics. "Our ability to rapidly meet this high demand is a testament to the skill, training and interconnectedness of our logistics professionals, and of course the pre-positioning of equipment we need for the operation."

FLCSI is one of NAVSUP's eight globally-positioned logistics centers and provides for the full range of solutions for logistics, business and support services to the Navy, Joint and Allied Forces at NAS Sigonella and throughout the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility.

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