309th MXSG keeps employees safe, continues critical support to the Ogden ALC
By Kendahl Johnson, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 22, 2020
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Like so many units at Hill, the 309th Maintenance Support Group has had to adjust its battle rhythm due to COVID-19. The unit is working extra hard to ensure other teams within the Ogden Air Logistics Complex can continue to support their critical missions while keeping employees safe from the coronavirus.
Gene Kourtei, deputy group director for the 309th MXSG, said it’s been a challenge, but his team has been successful in elevating and achieving the three priorities of keeping employees safe, continuing to meet mission demands, and exceeding customer expectations.
“We’ve worked really hard and I’m proud of our entire team,” Kourtei said. “We’ve significantly limited the effects of the pandemic to our most important resource (people), while optimizing how we perform business in a constrained environment. I’d like to think a lot of that is due to the deliberate, quick, and pro-active methodology.”
That approach started with using processes already in place to become the central supplier for the entire complex in terms of necessary items such as masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
“We were able to supply everyone in quick manner. We did a great job of purchasing what we could find as fast as we could, and distributed those critical items throughout the complex as rapidly as possible,” Kourtei said.
The unit’s engineering team was tasked with developing a response plan in the event of workplace contamination due to the virus. The team developed a comprehensive checklist which postured the Complex to be ready and respond to a multitude of different scenarios. Kourtei said being prepared and transparent at every level has helped employees feel comfortable and safe.
Perhaps the biggest challenge was developing a teleworking posture.
“Historically, we have never teleworked,” Kourtei said. “Moving from no telework to full telework was a test of the complex’s agility. Our ability to pivot to that environment was as good as you could ask for. We have kept and continue to keep our employees safe with robust cleaning plans and protocols. I believe the customers didn’t feel much, if any, impact – our job moving forward is to maintain it that way.”
Kourtei said they are ready and prepared to support the complex for as long as needed. They’ve worked hard to improve communications and have developed solid processes for keeping employees and their worksite environment COVID free while ensuring warfighter demands continue to be met.