Keeping Yokota mobile
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- There's a group of Airmen at Yokota that many might not associate with having a key part of mission success.
The Airmen from the 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance work to keep Yokota Air base running smoothly. Whether it's getting people around the base in government owned vehicles or towing C-130s with the MB4 tow-tractor, the mission needs all its vehicles to be in good working order.
"As a mechanic the best thing is, after you've performed the maintenance, to see the vehicle doing its job," said Staff Sgt. David Klimas, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron flight support manger. "It gives you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment."
In today's economy, Yokota cannot afford to simply replace broken vehicles, so it relies on its mechanics to complete the mission despite limited resources. Working with Japanese mechanics, several of whom have been turning wrenches for over 30 years, they focus on repairing the broken parts.
"We're not just part-changers, we have highly trained technicians to fix the broken vehicles," Klimas said. "There is no vehicle you cannot fix, there is always a way."
There are a number of challenges facing the career field, such as a lack of resources to the normal safety hazards associated with heavy machinery according to Senior Airman Christopher Sy, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle management analyst.
"Every day is a big challenge," Sy said. "But when you see a vehicle around the base you know that somehow, someway you've made an impact on the mission."