Name: Pauline Mahieu
Job title: Hazardous Material Supply Technician
Assigned: Logistics Readiness Center-Benelux, 405th Army Field Support Brigade
Location: Chievres Air Base, Belgium
Experience: I’ve been at LRC-Benelux working as a HAZMAT supply technician for two years come November. Before this, I was working as a compliance contractor with U.S. Army Garrison Benelux in the Environmental Division for about four years. Before working with the U.S. Army, I was focused on completing my degree as an Agronomist Engineer.
Hometown: Ath, Belgium
Family: I have a boyfriend, Florent Brassart. Our official Belgium status is legal partners. I also have a sister and a brother and two nephews. My parents, my brother and one of my nephews all live near me. My sister and her son live in Brussels, a little more than an hour away.
Q: Can you explain what your duties are as a Hazardous Material Supply Technician at LRC-Benelux, 405th AFSB?
A: My colleagues and I make sure that all HAZMAT is approved before coming onto the installations within the USAG Benelux area of operation. We do all the coordination between the customers and the HAZMAT program committee. The committee consists of the environmental office, safety office, industrial hygienist and the fire department, and they need to approve the HAZMAT products before any purchases are made. We assist with this approval process and work with the customers to get the HAZMAT products. We update a special database on a day to day basis that tracks the process and tracks all approved HAZMAT. We also have a specially designed HAZMAT storage building we manage.
Q: Why is the proper handling and tracking of HAZMAT at LRC-Benelux so important?
A: First of all, it’s most important for the users – the proper wear of personal protective equipment, proper use of HAZMAT, proper storage of HAZMAT and proper disposal is very important. Hazardous materials can be very dangerous – for people and for the environment. We need to be extremely careful when we handle these items. Wearing personal protective equipment, for example, can help prevent unnecessary incidents and injuries when handling HAZMAT.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job, and what motivates you?
A: I really enjoy the challenges we face on a day to day basis. Also, there are a lot of regulations – both Belgium and U.S., and the HAZMAT program is not well understand by many people. A big part of my job includes training unit HAZMAT handlers and purchasing agents on the HAZMAT program and HAZMAT operations. Our training includes procedures to follow when purchasing HAZMAT, storage of HAZMAT, and HAZMAT disposal. This training responsibility is a big challenge, and I really enjoy this.
LRC Benelux and 405th AFSB: When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC-Benelux directs, manages and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of USAG Benelux. LRC-Benelux reports to the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, which is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.