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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Waldrop, Navy Reserve Regional Component Command Norfolk public affairs
While assigned to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), Finney and his team were tasked with creating and implementing a DoD-wide distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine. To make an already difficult mission a bit more challenging, the group was given only 30 days to do so.
“We came in and developed a vaccination plan for the entire DoD in a time and resource-constrained environment under COVID conditions,” said Finney. “We used a joint operational planning team made up of five members of the JECC (Joint Enabling Capabilities Command), and representatives across the services, National Guard, Coast Guard and combat support agencies, immediately upon review and approval by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, we went into executing the plan given emergency use authorization approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Finney is attached to the JECC, which primarily focuses on standing up joint task forces and joint expeditionary planning, spending an average of over 50 days per year on their Annual Training to meet mission requirements.
“Often the JECC helps plan things that we hope to never implement, such as addressing potential threats," said Finney. “Most of our time is spent working on creating operational plans against potential adversaries, but we rarely get to see those plans implemented, which is a good thing.”
After the DoD began implementing the vaccine distribution plan, Finney and the rest of his team were allowed to visit a few of the distribution sites and see the results of their work first-hand.
“This is such a unique and noteworthy situation because of the humanitarian factor that we don’t usually see,” said Finney. “It also gives us an opportunity to give back and serve our healthcare workers as well as the veterans who served us.”
In his civilian career, Finney works at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as an inspector of commercial nuclear reactors.
“I don't have a lot of free time between Reserve activities and my civilian job,” he said. “When I do get downtime, I’ve been spending it catching up on my professional reading or playing chess with my daughter.”