Incirlik DRMO to donate $78,000 in furniture to Republic of Georgia

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Incirlik's Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office will donate about $78,000 worth of furniture to the Republic of Georgia.

The gesture is a combined effort with support agencies including DRMO, the U.S. State Department and the non-governmental aid group, A Call to Serve.

ACTS is the organization in Georgia helping put the furniture in-place. Furniture such as chairs, desks, wardrobe units, end tables and children's furniture will be sent to help furnish a Georgian youth camp that specializes in helping children with diabetes.

"The staff at Incirlik's DRMO has worked very hard to ensure this donation will be both timely and useful to the children that will be the recipients," said John Post, Deputy for Humanitarian Assistance at the Office of the Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia.

Mr. Post said his office funds several non-governmental organizations to be their "eyes and ears" in the country receiving assistance. In this case, ACTS requested support from the U.S. State Department to furnish the camp. ACTS will determine the camp's needs, and distribute the furniture when it arrives in Georgia. They also monitor the transfer, and do follow-up inspections to ensure the assistance provided is used properly.

Once the request from ACTS reached the State Department, the situation was evaluated to determine if the government has the resources to help, which they did.

"We try to identify requirements as near as possible to the country where they will be shipped," Mr. Post said. "In this case, we hit the jackpot as our needs were located in Incirlik. [Their] DRMO staff has gone out of their way to support our humanitarian program."

DRMO offices receive and screen all property turned in by base agencies for reutilization and reuse. If items cannot be reused within the Department of Defense, it is considered for transfer or donation to other federal or state agencies, or other qualified organizations. DRMO manages the day-to-day mission of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service.

"Reutilization is our job," said David Morgan, the Incirlik DRMO area manager. "[Our DRMO] is a great source of supply, and with the 39th Air Base Wing's help, we're making this donation happen."

The warehouse full of furniture began to transform May 12 as dozens of volunteers began packaging and prepping the items for shipment.

"Last year, the DRMS received about $32 billion in DoD materials worldwide, and was able to reutilize about $4 billion," Mr. Morgan said. "Donations like this are important because they help improve U.S. relations with other governments."

Mr. Morgan said the DRMS first attempts to transfer any material received to other U.S. government agencies, state or local government agencies. Next, they aim to donate the material to educational institutions or humanitarian agencies approved by the State Department. If DRMS cannot find someone else with a need for the items, the items are sold so the government can try and recoup some of the original acquisition value of the items. Some of the items could also be sold to a host nation foreign military within certain circumstances.

In addition to packaging the furniture, transportation had to be coordinated, as well as customs clearance. Once the action is approved, DRMO will began the furniture move.

"Knowing that you are working on a humanitarian project makes it much more personal, especially when you visualize this furniture being used by the young people at the diabetic camp that otherwise would not have received such a wonderful gift from the American people," Mr. Post said.