Defense Department orders
273,000 bottles of sunblock

By Paul Sperry

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon in August ordered more than 270,000 bottles of sunscreen lotion for U.S. troops, dwarfing previous orders under contract, Defense Department procurement officials told WorldNetDaily today.

The requisition calls for Tulsa, Okla.-based Control Supply Co. to deliver through a Florida subcontractor 273,366 4-ounce bottles of SPF-15 Native Tan sunscreen to Defense Department’s main supply depots located on the West and East coasts by Oct. 30, an official says.

According to Defense Supply Center spokesman Frank Johnson, the Pentagon on Aug. 22 placed two orders for the sunblock – one for 119,846 bottles, valued at $106,351.34 wholesale, and another for 153,520, valued at $136,233.65.

The Defense Department’s Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia handles procurement of pharmaceutical and other supplies for all the armed services.

The 119,846 order will be shipped by Oct. 30 to the Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna West in Mechanicsburg, Pa., Johnson says.

The other order of 153,520 bottles will be shipped by Oct. 30 to the Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin in Tracy, Calif, Johnson says.

Pentagon contractor Control Supply Co. subcontracts with sunscreen-maker Sun Fun Products Inc. in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Before August, the biggest single order was for 106,000 bottles, according to contract records. That was made in April 1999.

“This is a larger-than-normal order,” said Johnson, director of public affairs for the Defense Supply Center.

But he cautioned against drawing any conclusions that the huge order is meant for troops who may be deployed to Iraq, where they would need extra skin protection from the scorching desert sun.

“This is not something specifically for people getting ready to deploy,” he said, adding that some of the new sunblock will be distributed to members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Mary Lee, a Defense Supply Center procurement official, explained in a WorldNetDaily interview that the Pentagon rushed to replenish its stock of sunblock before its contract with Control Supply Co. closed out.

The Control Supply contract – which was awarded Aug. 29, 1997 – expired Aug. 27, 2002, Lee says.

The contract has been set aside for firms employing the severely handicapped or blind, she says. They now have the right of first refusal to bid on the contract.

“We just don’t want to take the chance that we run low on supply and go to our next contractor and they just can’t handle it,” Lee said, hastening to add that the Defense Supply Center hasn’t had problems in the past with set-aside contractors meeting orders.

Before Desert Storm in 1990, Sun Fun Products shipped some 20,000 bottles of sunblock to the Defense Department, while Hawaiian Tropic, also based in Florida, supplied some 60,000 bottles, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

The Daytona paper last week quoted Sun Fun Products owner Paul Burke saying he had received an order for more than 153,000 bottles of sunblock.

But the story did not mention the additional order of 119,846 bottles.

Burke commented that the 153,000-bottle order was much larger than normal, and he speculated that it was made in anticipation of a U.S. invasion of Iraq.

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