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U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Oldham, 18th Mission Support Group commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Jason Heilman, 18th MSG command chief, cut a ribbon to signify the opening of the Air Force's only operational cryogenic production plant June 16, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Cryogenics technicians work with oxygen and nitrogen in support of more than 30 units on Kadena that utilize cryogenic assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Oldham, 18th Mission Support Group commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Jason Heilman, 18th MSG command chief, cut a ribbon to signify the opening of the Air Force's only operational cryogenic production plant June 16, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Cryogenics technicians work with oxygen and nitrogen in support of more than 30 units on Kadena that utilize cryogenic assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Launey, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, provides opening remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the only operational cryogenic production plant in the Air Force June 16, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Cryogenic technicians with the 18th LRS provide units with liquid oxygen, which is used primarily for aircraft as a compact oxygen supply for pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Launey, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, provides opening remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the only operational cryogenic production plant in the Air Force June 16, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Cryogenic technicians with the 18th LRS provide units with liquid oxygen, which is used primarily for aircraft as a compact oxygen supply for pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

The 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron opened the U.S. Air Force's only operational cryogenic production plant June 16, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan.

The sole operational cryogenic production plant will significantly impact the way that cryogenic technicians do their jobs.

“This is going to help us a lot,” said Airman 1st Class Olavio Bisneto, 18th LRS cryogenics production technician. “With the new plant, we’ll be self-sufficient and we can provide more material to our customers at a vastly reduced cost to the Air Force.”

Prior to the opening of the new plant, all of the liquid oxygen and nitrogen needed across Okinawa had to be procured through off-base contracts.

“We would work with contractors and local organizations to provide material,” said Master Sgt. Donald Scott, 18th LRS NCOIC of cryogenics production. “Now we can produce more than 1,500 gallons of liquid oxygen and more than 2,000 gallons of liquid nitrogen every day.”

Cryogenics technicians work with sub-zero temperatures to convert oxygen and nitrogen into liquids, which can then be used by more than 30 units across Okinawa for operations ranging from maintaining oxygen supply levels in aircraft to helping maintenance personnel ensure certain nuts and bolts are securely fastened.

“We equip pilots and medical personnel from every branch of service on Okinawa with the liquid oxygen or nitrogen they need,” said Scott. “With this new plant, we’re going to be able to do our job more efficiently and effectively at a substantially reduced price. This is going to save the Air Force, as well as the other branches stationed in Okinawa, hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.”