GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — It is an involved operation to maintain supply and inventory for the detention facilities at Joint Task Force Guantanamo. In just one month, the S-4, or supply section, for the JTF delivers approximately 80 pallets of water and 35,000 pounds of laundry to provide adequate supply of resources for the detention facilities.
"You can't put a price tag on the service we provide to the detainees," said Army Maj. Myrna R. Cerezo, the officer-in-charge of S-4 supply. "We at S-4 are an important part of the overall big picture and mission in providing the safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of our detainees."
Clean laundry is provided to the detainees in exchange for dirty laundry, which is then taken to the supply laundry facility for cleaning. The S-4 must keep laundry separated and organized.
"Twice a week, laundry is picked up and dropped off for the camps. Each camp is color-coded and marked with the detainee's identification number," said Army Spc. Ninoskka Lopez. "We at S-4 understand that if we do an excellent job, it gives the detainee one less thing to worry about."
Personal hygiene items are also provided for the detainees and are stocked inside the camps for easy access.
"We have everything from shower gel to shower shoes, uniforms, prayer rugs and toothpaste, which are always in inventory and available for each detainee," said Army Spc. Luis Luna. "Water and detainee supplies is our business. Having what they need when they need it is the most important part of our mission."
Keeping up with all of the supplies can be a big task. S-4 personnel enter reports into an inventory control system and place orders for supplies each week. To be successful, they must take into consideration the transit time to the island to maintain an adequate supply of all items.
In addition, S-4 is responsible for purchasing and supplying the JTF Service members with the tools they need to run camp operations.
"We can do without a few pens or note pads to write on, however, we can never run low or out of supplies for [the detainees]," said Luna.
"S-4 needs to run at 200 percent to support the guard force," said Navy Chief Petty Officer Gregorio Alexander with the Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion. "The guard force cannot do their jobs without their support."
The most compliant detainees are provided with an opportunity to do their own laundry, if they wish, but the service and supplies provided by the S-4 are available to all detainees, regardless of their compliance status. Providing the detainees with these basic necessities contributes to their overall health and welfare.
For more information about Joint Task Force Guantanamo, visit the Web site at www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil.