By Brandon Taylor, Director Of Corporate Communications, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka has made preparations to continue providing its postal services to customers during this year’s peak holiday mailing season.
These measures come after months of COVID-19 limitations in conjunction with a 25% increase in package volumes since the start of the pandemic, leading to forecasts of a higher than usual surge of postal services during the 2020 holidays.
“We’re using all resources and options to continue providing optimal services to our customers during this unique season,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Ryan Schick, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Post Office leading chief petty officer. “We continue to seek customer feedback and have even implemented a few of their ideas. Our Sailors also continue to think outside the box, finding creative ways to become more efficient and expedite our processes.”
The command’s largest postal customer bases are onboard Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka and Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo, serving up to 25,000 and 8,500 customers respectively and has brought in augmentee support in the form of volunteers, contractors, temporary hires and U.S. Navy Reservists to assist with the peak season.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka’s post office augmentees began with a hands-on, day-long training session. Following the training they can support the command’s postal mission requirements, continuing quality-of-life support to customers during the peak holiday season by sorting incoming and outgoing letters and parcels for personal boxes, official command mail and ships on the waterfront.
Earlier in the year, throughout COVID-19, postal crews in Yokosuka and Sasebo were sorting approximately 2,900 packages per day, without the assistance of augmentees and a limited number of volunteers. This caused regular postal crews for feel the holiday season spike as early as the summer time, increasing steadily throughout the year. For comparison, the August 2020 package volume was almost on par with the package volume experienced in November 2019.
Additional support coming from volunteers, contractors, temporary hires and U.S. Navy Reservists ensures NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka’s post offices can operate around the clock, prevents crews from experiencing fatigue and maintains productivity to respond to an unparalleled postal season.
“We give 110 percent to the post office because we know how important receiving and providing mail to loved ones can have a positive effect during the pandemic. We provided maximum effort to see our customers happy and will continue to provide the best service we can to the community,” said Logistics Specialist Seaman Akisch Davis. “The augmentees that we have received throughout the pandemic have been nothing short of amazing. Without them, I do not believe we would have been able to process such high volumes of mail.”
In addition to the efforts in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Sailors from NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka’s reserve unit are providing critical mission support at Joint Military Postal Activity (JPMA) centers in Chicago and San Francisco.
These Reservists have been tracking delivery times, monitoring flights and contributing to the prioritization and forwarding of military mail and its accurate sortation to fleet post office addresses. Together, their service helps ensure mail is being expedited to military members and their families who are stationed overseas.
“At JPMA San Francisco, so far we’ve processed 1.5 million FPO/APO parcels to over a million military personnel and their families,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Ana Guerrero. “My motivation was thinking about all the service members and just how important holiday parcels are to people who are deployed. The work was physical, but honorable and rewarding. I believe our support greatly aided the U.S. postal workers in keeping mail from being delayed.”
The Reservists undergo monthly and annual training for the purpose of providing postal support when the need arises, typically during an exercise or holiday rush season.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka is one of eight FLCs under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.