HAZMAT pharmacy: another part of the Patriot team
By Senior Airman Daniel Phelps, 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 19, 2013
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
It takes many pieces to complete a puzzle. A cast and crew are needed for a Broadway show. A football team needs every player to fulfill their role on the field to win the game.
For NATO to complete its Patriot mission in Turkey, several units from the 39th Air Base Wing have come into play.
One of those units is the 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron hazardous materials pharmacy.
The HAZMAT pharmacy is in charge of the issuing and maintenance of potentially hazardous materials on Incirlik, said Airman 1th Class Michael Brown, 39th LRS HAZMAT pharmacy journeyman. Some of the materials they provide are paint, vehicle oil, engine oil, hydraulic fluid, fire extinguishers and batteries.
"All hazardous supplies on base have to be ordered through us," said Staff Sgt. Estella Gonzalez, 39th LRS HAZMAT pharmacy technician.
"When the Army showed up, they came to us for a lot of up-keep material, such as cleaning supplies for Patriot Village and vehicle fluids," Brown said.
Patriot Village is Incirlik's contingency lodging, which is capable of holding more than 1,800 people. With that amount of people living in one area, cleanliness is important as their duties might not be accomplished if people become ill.
The HAZMAT Airmen also created an account for the Army to be able to order various hazardous supplies soldiers might need while at Incirlik.
The pharmacy performed a lot of research to get the soldiers exactly what they needed.
Sometimes the Air Force and the Army use different brands for various items, said Gonzalez. The pharmacy would have to search through different stock numbers to find exactly what the Army needed.
"It was a learning experience," Brown added. "I found it similar to learning another language. We'd call the same thing different names."
Even with the language difference, the HAZMAT pharmacy was pretty much always able to get what was requested, Gonzalez said. Although the Airmen usually don't work with other branches, they were able to complete the task.
"If the Army doesn't receive the supplies they need, that could slow down production and prevent the mission from getting done," she added. "We do our part so they can do theirs."
The HAZMAT team would sometimes take Army personnel back into their storage facility to help them find what they needed.
"It was nice being able to help," Brown said. "Sometimes you could tell they were really frustrated because they had been having a hard time trying to find something."
For a puzzle to be completed every little piece has to come together, and the HAZMAT pharmacy filled their place.
"It was nice knowing we were able to contribute to the mission," Gonzalez said.