YOKOTA AIR FORCE BASE, Japan -- Airmen from the 374th Force Support Squadron responded to a simulated mass casualty scenario as part of a Samurai Readiness Inspection (SRI), Oct. 28, 2021.
During SRIs, Mortuary Affairs is augmented with 374th FSS Airmen from multiple career fields. It provides experience in this specialized discipline and increases the capabilities of Yokota’s FSS.
“Once first responders let us know a crisis scene is safe, we immediately respond,” said Staff Sgt. Jose Barragan, 374th FSS mortuary affairs team lead. “We recover any fallen service members and transport them to the mortuary so we can get them home to their families as soon as possible.”
On arrival to the mortuary, Mortuary Affairs collects the personal belongings of the deceased and ensures delivery to the member’s loved ones.
“Each of the Airmen we serve as well as any family members who have passed away are treated with dignity and respect,” said Mr. Ruben Garza, 374th FSS mortuary director. “We provide the best care in preparing them for return to their loved ones.”
Mortuary specialists ensure Airmen are prepared with dignity, honor and respect in accordance with the wishes of the primary next of kin or the person authorized to direct disposition.
“Death is never easy, but my hope is my experience and support helps ease the burden on families going through this difficult experience,” said Garza. “It is my honor as a veteran to be able to serve our military members who have died while serving their country.”