ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The 36th Contracting Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base recently partnered with the government of Vietnam to help bring COVID-19 relief by purchasing and sending 77 ultra-low temperature freezers at a total value of $691,000.
The purchase of the freezers fulfills an official request from the government of Vietnam and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health to the U.S. due to their acquisition of 31 million Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccines set to arrive in Vietnam by August 30, 2021.
This assistance will provide one unit to each of the 63 provinces in Vietnam and 14 larger units at the national level for COVID-19 vaccine storage.
“This acquisition shows the commitment of the U.S. to the health and safety of Vietnamese by providing humanitarian relief to them during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Staff Sgt. Christian Luevano, 36th Contracting Squadron contracting officer.
A purchase like this usually takes anywhere from 45-120 days to coordinate and process but Luevano and his team worked late nights and weekends to get this contract finalized in just under two weeks.
“The main challenge for the team was the shortened timeline and coordination due to all parties being in different time zones,” Luevano said.
The 36th Contracting Squadron worked closely with partners in Vietnam such as Major Wei Yuan, chief of defense cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. As chief of defense cooperation, Yuan’s role is to identify capability gaps in partner countries then find ways to fill those gaps that would bring mutual benefits to both the U.S. and Vietnam.
“Not only will it enhance Vietnam’s capability to distribute vaccines with special storage requirements, it demonstrates the United States’ commitment on working with partners across the globe to end the devastating public health and economic effects of this pandemic,” Yuan said.