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    Health inspector airman ensures standards for KAF facilities

    Kandahar airman keeps eateries safe

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jackie Sanders | Staff Sgt. Latishia Gowens, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Role 1 health clinic public...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Jackie Sanders 

    451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

    KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - One Airman assigned to the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing is doing her part to ensure the safety of service members on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

    Staff Sgt. Latishia Gowens, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Role 1 health clinic public health technician, is charged with ensuring facilities around KAF maintain the proper health protocol and procedures, which keep people safe.

    “I go around and do food inspections for all of the food facilities that distribute to military and civilians,” Gowens said.

    Gowens said the U.S. Army checks all sanitation aspects up to the delivery to the facility, but once the food is at the facility is where Gowens steps in.

    “I check temperatures, I check food handling practices, and I make sure things are being done safely,” she said. “I’m there to assist (venders) and give them information on what they can do better and what they’re doing correctly.”

    Gowens is responsible for nearly 28 facilities including Air Force gyms and barber and beauty shops.

    “Gowans does an amazing job as a young public health NCO at her first deployment,” said Tech. Sgt. Corina Schrank, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Role 1 bioenvironmental engineer. “She's taken on all responsibilities without hesitation and with the utmost professionalism. She not only covers what's required of her as an Air Force asset, she also augments other joint agencies which reinforces the united efforts of all agencies on KAF. She's truly vital to the success of this wing.”

    Gowens said that while there may be many different aspects to her job, physically walking around and interacting with the vendors and their employees is her favorite part.

    “This is probably one of my favorites because I get to go out and talk to people,” Gowens said. “The customers are all very nice here on KAF. Here everyone seems to really want to do what they’re supposed to do, so when I go into a facility, they’re always really happy to see me. They ask questions, and I always make sure that they have may contact information so if they come across anything and they want to ask me about it they can do that as easily as possible.”

    While the responsibility of ensuring food sanitation safety may seem like a large burden for one person to some, Gowens said she doesn’t view it that way.

    “I actually get to go and help facility managers and their employees and really talk to them and see what their mindset is and how they conduct business and try to work with them and get them to where they need to be so that people don’t get sick,” Gowens said. “It means everyone can have good healthy food to eat and not have to worry about it. That’s what my job is. It’s to worry about how their food is prepared. I like this part of my job because it takes the worry from everyone else. I can just take that worry from them.”

    Gowens said she’ll continue her work to better facilities around KAF and will take the positive attitudes and lessons learned here back to her home station -- Ramstein Air Base, Germany.



    Date Taken: 11.26.2013
    Date Posted: 11.30.2013 01:23
    Story ID: 117558

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