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HAZMART facility keeps Osan moving

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Operating with a staff of three military members, two U.S. civilians and four Korean nationals, the 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron Hazardous Materials Pharmacy team provides a single point of control, accountability and tracking of more than 12,000 hazardous line items worth $1.4 million.

"The hazardous materials we handle here include anything from de-icing fluid to WD40," said Senior Airman Ryan Riedel, 51st LRS HAZMART supply journeyman. "If it could be harmful to your health, we control it."

HAZMART receives and distributes a wide array of different materials base-wide. The more frequent customers include the 36th and 25th Aircraft Maintenance Units, 51st Vehicle Maintenance Squadron, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron and numerous off base organizations, said Tech Sgt. Jeangel Jenkins, 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron HAZMART supply NCO in charge.

"We supply all the liquids for the jets," said Senior Airman Chadwyck McDaniel, 51st LRS HAZMART supply journeyman. "That's what I love about my job -- we keep jets in the air."

What they do in HAZMART is simple, explained McDaniel. Supply, receive and distribute.

McDaniel expressed how important his section is to the 51st Fighter Wing's flying mission because without the critical materials, nothing will fly.

"Spray paint, hydraulic fluid and oil -- those are the main three elements that get the mission moving," McDaniel said.

However, with a large amount of supplies that need to be kept, storage requirements can pose challenges, explained Jenkins. But like many challenges facing the Air Force, it can be overcome.

"We are trying our best to work with what we have and still perform our daily mission in the safest way possible," he said.

But the main priority at the HAZMART facility is safety, said Jenkins.

"We take proper precautions by reading the Material Safety Data Sheet prior to handling, storing and issuing any hazardous materials. We also go by the regulations governed by the Department of Defense and Air Force instructions to ensure proper storage requirements are met for all hazardous materials stored in our warehouse."