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Staff. Sgt. Jenelle Johnson, left, and Tech. Sgt. Leticia McGinnes remove blood from a freezer at Ramstein's 86th Medical Logistics Flight. The flight sends units of blood and other medical equipment and supplies to the front in the war against Iraq.

Staff. Sgt. Jenelle Johnson, left, and Tech. Sgt. Leticia McGinnes remove blood from a freezer at Ramstein's 86th Medical Logistics Flight. The flight sends units of blood and other medical equipment and supplies to the front in the war against Iraq. (Marni McEntee / S&S)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Nearly every soldier injured in the war against Iraq will be treated, cared for and kept alive by medical equipment and supplies from Ramstein’s 86th Medical Logistics Flight.

Heart defibrillators, oxygen units, chemical-weapon antidotes and blood all pass through Ramstein before heading to the Persian Gulf region, said Capt. John Brooks, flight commander.

The Ramstein logistics center is one of two at overseas flights. The second is at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

The unit’s 50 troops, working in 60,000 square feet of warehouse space, provide the bulk of the medical supplies to aeromedical evacuation units going to the U.S. European Command and Central Command areas of operation, Brooks said. They also process, pack and send supplies downrange to the Mobile Forward Surgical Teams that often are the first to treat fallen soldiers.

The so-called “Log Dogs” have been working 12- to 16-hour days for several months getting packages of medical equipment ready for quick shipment as the war progresses.

“There’s lots and lots of hours of behind-the-scenes work,” said Master Sgt. Timothy Jones, chief of the blood trans-shipment center, which is a staging area for all the blood that arrives from the United States bound for medical crews at Air Force contingency areas throughout EUCOM and CENTCOM.

About $12.5 million worth of medical supplies sit on pallets in the medical logistics warehouse.

“We spend a lot of money caring for our soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Ivan Sherard, the medical support squadron commander.

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