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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | April 24, 2020

Finding Essential Supplies in Unconventional Places

By Senior Airman Kaylea Berry 11th Wing Public Affairs

During COVID-19 supplies have run short, businesses have closed, and what is considered “normal” now has a new meaning. Although many things have changed, one thing has been constant, and that is the willingness to help. As a community military and civilian alike have become innovators to overcome obstacles we face.

“Historically, Americans have always shined their brightest in the darkest hours; this is proof of that,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Grudznske, 11th Security Support Squadron supply NCO in-charge. “When traditional sources and manufacturing could not meet the demand placed upon it, non-traditional sources such as distilleries have stepped up to fill the manufacturing gap.”

The 11th SSPTS received hand sanitizer from a local distillery that shifted their manufacturing focus to support the community.

“When we saw how much of a need there was across Maryland, we completely changed our production around to make hand sanitizer instead of spirits,” said Braeden Bumpers, McClintock Distillery cofounder. “We already produce the active ingredient, alcohol, so we just changed the proof and purity at which it was distilled and added vegetable glycerin and hydrogen peroxide to make the World Health Organization approved hand sanitizer.”

The distillery started producing hand sanitizer to support first responders, medical facilities, nonprofit organizations and essential military personnel in Maryland to supplement the shortage. Hand sanitizer allows personnel an added safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. The 11th SSPTS placed an order for 30 gallons of hand sanitizer and were able to pick it up in less than 24 hours.

New ideas are needed when supplies get low and the conventional means of obtaining these items aren’t sufficient.

“I have received great support from my leadership along the way whenever it comes to thinking creatively,” said Grudznske.

Regardless of what is going on in the world, the mission must go on. This needs to happen as efficiently and safely as possible. Being able to think outside the box allows this to take place.