Delivering Fuel During Challenging Times

Delivering Fuel During Challenging Times

The company faced challenges over the past year due to COVID, but Maytag Aircraft Corporation’s President and Chief Operating Officer David Nelson is proud of how the company managed difficulties and sees light at the end of the tunnel.

“Over the year, we have not seen large outbreaks of COVID, and by and large everyone has been able to stay healthy,” says Nelson. In passing comments, government officials have expressed their gratitude that Maytag has been able to maintain the health of 300+ employees on bases.

In mid-March 2020, Nelson received a letter from the Undersecretary of Defense designating Maytag as “essential” with its critical workforce. This allowed them to be exempt from the state’s orders and maintain a presence in the office, unless staff was at high-risk. Maytag was able to keep 20+ locations running and delivering fuel to the military.

Nelson states, “We instituted protocols and contingency plans for each military base immediately.”

Staffing bases has been a significant challenge. For example, Guantanamo Bay was put on strict lock-down in March 2020 that led to the inability to fly in or out of the base without authorization from an admiral flag officer.  Staff could not go home to their family or take vacations. And it is difficult to hire new people in with the quarantines.

“With these restrictions, morale suffers. And at times, once an employee could get home, they did not return,” says Nelson.

The restrictions are still on-going, even for corporate management who need to return regularly. Until late January, managers could not go in, and today face the large barrier of a 14-day quarantine. These protocols are impractical, according to Nelson, and Maytag has attempted negotiate with the base protocols such as working in “bubbles.”

 “We can’t afford to have an individual to be there a month; it’s not practical. So now only one person is making visits.”

 With the opportunity for staff to receive vaccines, Nelson does view the situation as improving and gives thanks to his staff.

“It’s a testament to guys on the ground, who follow protocols.  Terminal managers did a great job having people following protocols.”


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