Community NewsCOVID-19

Alexandria Resident Helps Military in COVID19 Fight as NEPLO Assistant

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Abraham Hernandez at Washington Navy Yard. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A resident of Alexandria, Virginia, is currently serving in Washington D.C. in the NEPLO program as part of the Department of Defense’s response to COVID19.

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Abraham Hernandez, a Navy Reserve sailor, has been on active duty since April 21. He is working at the headquarters for Commander, Navy Installations Command at the Washington Navy Yard.
Hernandez is in the Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Program and trained in Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA). “My assignment was a real eye-opener; responding to something that I have never seen before,” he said. “Being in tune with all the complex evolutions dealing with a pandemic can really make you realize how much our work really impacts the community.”
As part of his deployment, he is a CNIC HQ NEPLO assistant and customer technical representative. Hernandez supports the briefing of flag-level officers and senior-level civilian leadership on missions involving Navy and Department of Defense assets. He both monitors and prepares mission-critical message traffic. He also assists senior officers with information technology challenges.

As a part of DSCA, Hernandez’s work is part of the whole-of-government approach to support community needs. The overall nationwide effort from DoD has been led by U.S. Northern Command.

“I’m proud of being a NEPLO because of the intricate work we do and the lasting effect we leave with the community, joint agencies, and the Joint Services in the DoD,” he said.

During his deployment, Hernandez has participated remotely in the activation and deactivation of USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) and USNS Mercy (T-AH-19), Navy Emergency Medical Facilities activations and relocations, Javits Center staffing, and frequent interagency coordination.

“It goes to show that no matter where, when and what, every job we do is equally important in ensuring the mission is complete,” said Hernandez.

The NEPLO program consists of 138 Navy Reserve personnel highly trained in DSCA. During natural and man-made disasters, NEPLOs assist in providing Navy resources where needed.

“When disasters exceed a state’s ability to respond, the Department of Defense is often asked to support, and that is where NEPLOs jump-in,” said Capt. Steven Stacy, NEPLO Deputy Commander.

“Our team has a unique set of skills not replicated by the active duty Navy. We possess the know-how to get Navy resources and capabilities into the fight.”

In the past, NEPLOs have deployed to assist with hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires. They stand ready, trained, and prepared to answer the call when needed.

Submitted and written by By Cmdr. Kip Wright, Public Affairs Officer, Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer Program

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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