78th MDG Optometry: Vision readiness for Airmen

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

Regardless of the mission, the 78th Medical Group Optometry clinic at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, helps to ensure Airmen have the best vision possible.

Afterall, if Airmen can’t see they can’t perform their job, which means they can’t complete the mission.

Air Force Materiel Command is constantly working to accelerate the competitive edge via research, development, test and evaluation, agile combat support and provides acquisition management services and logistics support necessary to keep Air Force systems ready.

“Everyone knows life, limb and eyesight are very important,” said Tech. Sgt. Lewis Bivins, 78th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Human Performance Flight chief. “Our goal is to make sure everyone has 20/20 vision.”

There are four members of the Robins Optometry team, which includes an optometrist and four technicians. Bivins is a technician. And together, they play an important role in helping patients see better and protect their eyes.

“Primarily what we do here is comprehensive eyecare,” said Bivins. “We perform regular annual exams and provide eyewear to those with vision impairments. Active-duty members get two pairs of glasses and a prescription insert for their gas mask.

“Also, pilots who wear glasses can request contact lenses through the Aircrew Soft Contact Lens Program,” he continued. “For some pilots wearing glasses are uncomfortable with a helmet on.”

The clinic also provides specialty exams for diabetic and glaucoma patients.

The world of eyecare wasn’t Bivins first military job.

“I’ve been in the Air Force for 11 years and spent the first seven in cyber security,” said Bivins. “However, I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in that area for the rest of my military career.

“I’ve worn eyeglasses since I was 13 years old and have always been fascinated with how eyeballs work,” he continued. “So, four years ago I decided to go to optometry tech school to learn about the physiology of the eye and how it works. It is truly fascinating.”

Bivins received his certification at the Air Force Optometry Technical School in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

“It feels good knowing what we do here is helping Airmen keep their eyes healthy, and in turn, that means they are fit to fight.”