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Kandahar Airman keeps eateries safe
Staff Sgt. Latishia Gowens, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Role 1 health clinic public health technician, inspects expiration dates of flavored syrups during a health inspection of a local vender at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2013. Gowens is the only Air Force public health technician on KAF. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jack Sanders)
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Health inspector Airman ensures standards for KAF facilities

Posted 11/30/2013   Updated 12/4/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Jack Sanders
451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

11/30/2013 - 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 to 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. Once the food is at the facility 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 (vendors) 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,  barber shops 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 bio environmental 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."

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

"I actually get to go and help facility managers and their employees," 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."

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 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

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