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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan


Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
New vet clinic officially opens doors for man’s best friend

By Sgt. N.W. Huertas | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan | July 19, 2017

“This new facility is full of new equipment and a bigger space that allows us to facilitate the growing number of patients on the base,” said Lexy Walters, a veterinary technician at the clinic.

The veterinary clinic is responsible for the welfare of hundreds of military pets and military working dogs and the new facility allows technicians to double the amount of patients they can see during normal operating hours.

According to Walters, the clinics’ primary mission of maintaining the military working dogs overall health is also better supported with the new facility’s structure and equipment. The clinic was reconstructed to hold a third examination room, a new X-ray machine, an updated surgery room and new accommodations specifically to support working dogs.

“These dogs are not handled like the average patient that comes in,” said Walters. “They can’t be around other dogs and they have special procedures we go by when examining them. The new layout of the building lets us isolate the working dogs and have them in and out of the clinic without disturbing other patients.”

The support received from the air station and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers over the year of construction has made it possible to advance veterinary care here. They built a top of the line facility equipped with the most up-to-date technology available for animal care.

“The Army is stationed all over the world in Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force bases,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dwayne Bechtol, the Public Health Activity Japan commanding officer. “Our main mission is to support these military working dogs with the skilled veterinary specialists we have. We appreciate everything the services do for us because we do not have the funding to build clinics everywhere, so the base support is very much needed. It’s much appreciated and we thank you.”

The clinic is just one of the many facilities being updated to better support the growing population at the air station.

“The garrison command here has been amazing,” said U.S. Army Capt. Monika Jones, the Iwakuni Veterinary Services Branch Chief. “We have received a lot of support. So many people came together to make this project happen. It has been truly amazing to see this clinic rise from the ground up, and I am confident that those after me will continue to add to the clinic’s success.”