An appetite for dedication

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
At Whiteman Air Force Base, Airmen depend on the dining facility to provide them with the energy they need to get the job done.

There are two dining facilities located at Whiteman to accommodate Airmen; one is located on the flightline and the other is the Ozark Inn. The purpose of the flightline dining facility is to help personnel who cannot eat at the Ozark Inn due to their busy schedules.

Airmen in the dining facility focus on customer service and excellence in all they do, said Airman Eric Sadsad, 509th Force Support Squadron services apprentice. They are driven to serve the Airmen of Whiteman.

The dining facility provides food service excellence in support of the Air Force readiness and peacetime mission.

The vision for dining facilities on base mirrors that of the larger Air Force vision, said 1st Lt. Diana Wong, 509th FSS food service officer - to provide food service professionals who build customer-oriented programs by creating innovative solutions responsive to tomorrow's needs.

Food service members perform tasks such as cooking, prepping, line serving, logging production, line set-up, temperature checks and cleaning.

Shift leaders supervise production to ensure personnel can perform these tasks with little to no discrepancies, said Sadsad.

In addition, Airmen in the facility work in shifts and are constantly prepping food for the next shift to give them time to perform other given tasks.

"Depending on the amount of time, the shift before the next will cook the food and put it in the freezer to keep cool," said Sadsad. "This allows the next shift to take the food out of the freezer and warm it up using heated pans."

The flightline dining facility operates only during breakfast and lunch and has four Service members manning the area, said Staff Sgt. Travis Keele, 509th FSS flight kitchen manager. 

It serves as a convenience to members on the flightline who are unable to get to the general facility in time, playing a significant role in supporting the Whiteman mission and the B-2 Spirit crews.

"We specialize in long-duration meals for the B-2 pilots," said Keele. "Without them, the pilots cannot fly for long periods of time. Each long-duration meal is made to last within a 4-6 hour time frame, so if they are going to fly, they will order up to six meals at a time to make sure they get fed."

In addition to providing the actual food to customers, food services personnel have to maintain all their equipment - cleaning as they go, keeping accountability and paying attention to details.

The Ozark Inn receives inspections quite often to ensure they are upholding the military food code, said Staff Sgt. Alyssa Joseph, 509th FSS food service shift leader.

These inspections ensure there are no pests of any kind, that all food is being cooked, heated and stored at the correct temperatures and that it is not improperly exposed.

The Ozark Inn and the flightline facility continue to dedicate their services to Whiteman by working diligently to ensure they meet the needs of fellow Airmen around the base.