The backbone of the medical group
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Military doctors are highly trained professionals but without the proper equipment they would be unable to effectively treat their patients. Whether its scalpels for surgery, diagnostic equipment or pharmaceuticals, they are all important to keeping service members and their families healthy. At Yokota these supplies are processed and stored in the medical logistics warehouse.
The 374th Medical Support Squadron Medical Logistics flight includes several different sections. Some of these sections include acquisitions, which order all materials; the warehouse, which is where all materials are stored; and the War Reserve Material, where a separate stockpile of supplies is kept on-the-ready for real world emergency operations.
"We are the foundation of the hospital," said Staff Sgt. Henry Kabiling, 374 MDSS NCO in charge of storage and distribution. "We don't work in a clinic but we're still part of the 374th Medical Group and we make things happen."
Airmen working in the warehouse maintain an average of $218k worth of medical supplies including 500 line items as operations stock. The warehouse itself is held to a high standard of cleanliness to avoid contaminating the materials according to Kabiling.
The biggest challenge involved with ensuring a steady flow of medical resources are last-second time sensitive requests and having to overcome shipping delays, which is common for overseas bases.
"If we don't have the supplies we start reaching out to other bases like Kadena, Misawa and even Yokosuka," Kabiling said. "Upon commander's approval, we look to local companies and hospitals, anything to get the patients what they need."
Providing equipment, material and service necessary for the 374 MDG to perform its mission is both the primary objective and a matter of pride for medical logistics says Kabiling.
"The best part of my job is being able to see the impact we make," Kabiling said. "Knowing I played a part in saving someone's life is an amazing feeling."