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    I Am Navy Medicine helping to stop the spread of COVID-19: Logistics Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW/IW) Brenda Kedar Ike, NMRTC Bremerton

    I Am Navy Medicine helping to stop the spread of COVID-19: Logistics Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW/IW) Brenda Kedar Ike, NMRTC Bremerton

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | As the saying goes in Material Management department, 'you can't fly without supply.'...... read more read more



    Story by Douglas Stutz 

    Naval Hospital Bremerton

    “I am Logistics Specialist 1st Class (Surface Warfare/Aviation Warfare/Information Warfare designations) Brenda Kedar Ike, assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton.

    With ten years in the Navy, Ike, of Queens, New York, went to Academy of Christ the King High School, Ghana in West Africa, and is currently the hospital’s Material Management leading petty officer.

    She leads over 20 military and civilian staff members in managing all supply and medical repair for warehouse and mailroom operations, Central Supply Replenishment, Biomedical Repair division, Equipment Management, Purchasing division, and Defense Military Logistics Supply System administration.

    “I manage all inventory and issuances to ensure the sustainment of 84 departments and three branch health clinics,” said Ike.

    Ike has been lauded for her behind the scenes effort in procuring vital supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for the command’s ongoing effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    “Materiel Management – Supply – department is critical in fighting the spread of COVID 19. Specifically, we are overall responsible for ordering and tracking PPE that protects the entire hospital staff,” said Ike.

    There has been challenges during this new norm of daily preparing, responding and providing the needed supplies for responding to the pandemic, along with other routine duties.

    “Acquiring supplies, in general, has been a hurdle worldwide. I am lucky to have an amazing team in Material Management that works around the clock to ensure that our supplies are always up to date to support all the clinics. We have to consider who needs what and how we can substitute if we don't have the requested item. It has been challenging to find vendors for supplies that cannot be filled by our prime vendor. There are no breaks in searching for PPE supplies,” explained Ike.

    Although much – if not all - of their work is accomplished behind the scenes, Ike and the rest of her team have reason to be justifiably gratified that their efforts are helping to make a positive difference against COVID-19.

    “It means so much to my whole crew to have a hand in making sure our staff and personnel feel safe when they come to work. Materiel Management's goal is the customer first and customer always. The only way we can rest is when we know that they have what they need and most importantly that they are safe. We also have benefited from seeing our work translate to force readiness as the personal protective equipment and testing supplies are being used for force testing and patient care,” Ike said.

    Ike’s responsibility as a logistics specialist is indicative of being just as integral a part of Navy Medicine as that of a physician, nurse, or hospital corpsman.

    “Most people might not believe it, but the saying ‘you can't fly without supply’ applies to every mission. As logistics specialists, our job provides the resources to ensure efficiency in every operation. There is no supply chain without logistics,” stressed Ike.

    Ike joined the Navy September 21, 2009 from New York.

    “My brother joined before me and told me about the Navy when he came home from A-school. He took me to his recruiter and I signed up to be a logistics specialist,” recalled Ike. “I joined the Navy for college primarily. But I later realized I enjoy the travel that comes with the military. I also wanted to be a part of something great and rewarding.”

    Ike was born in Accra, Ghana and attained most of her academic success through the University of Ghana. She has also added an Associates in General Studies degree from University Of Maryland Global Campus.

    “Instead of trying to balance work, I focused more on the completion of my degree. I then later moved to New York with my mother and older brother. It was very challenging because I had to learn a new culture, which was very different from what I knew back home,” Ike said.

    “It's incredible how powerful the Navy's diversity affects people, so many mentors positively changed my life,” she continued. “I learned a lot about others and how to impact them in every small way that I can positively can. I was taught to work extremely hard at everything I touch and always be ready to make a difference, so I applied that concept all my life.”

    The Navy has afforded her ample opportunity to travel and Ike attests being thankful for the chance to visit other cultures and lands, including many Pacific Ocean locales such as Guam, Hawaii, Philippines, Singapore, Japan, and the most interesting of all to her, Wake Island. She’s also visited European countries of Germany, Greece, Italy, and Middle East settings of Dubai and Bahrain.

    “One of my most refreshing experience was visiting Wake Island. The island has a lot of history behind it, and I felt lucky being there,” Ike said.
    As a logistics specialist, Ike is part of a Navy rating established in October 2009 by merging the former rates of storekeeper and postal clerk together.

    As the name suggest, logistics specialists manage inventories of repair parts and general supplies that support ships, squadrons, and shore-based activities such as a military treatment facility. Ike and other LSs procure, receive, store and issue material and repair components. They utilize financial accounting and database systems to perform inventory and financial management functions. They also operate Navy post offices.

    Ike has held a variety of positions, each with added responsibility and accountability, such as government commercial purchase card holder on submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) at Guam; custodian of postal effect when attached to Navy Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, Souda Bay Greece; management branch leading petty officer assigned to Aviation Support Detachment, Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan; Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance department material control leading petty officer and stock control leading petty officer stationed onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt.

    Although advancing in her chosen career path, being able to travel to the Far East, Europe and the Middle East, providing critical assistance to her current command in responding to the pandemic outbreak are all highlights, the best part about her career is a lot more personal.

    “Although there are a lot of highlights in my career, I will say meeting my husband in the Navy has been the best part,” stated Ike.

    When asked to sum up her experience in the Navy and currently being part of Navy Medicine, Ike replied, ““I am in the right place at the perfect time. There is no other way to look at it. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”



    Date Taken: 07.23.2020
    Date Posted: 07.23.2020 09:37
    Story ID: 374428
    Location: BREMERTON, WA, US 

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