by Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel
7th Air Force Public Affairs
3/4/2015 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Stirred,
chopped, baked, broiled or braised, any way you whisk it, the 51st
Force Support Squadron has heated up its operations to accommodate
increased customers during Key Resolve 2015.
During the two-week exercise the base can swell with more than 1,500
additional mouths to feed, ranging from fellow Airmen to joint service,
coalition partners and civilians.
"The menus we're offering during Key Resolve are the same as normal,
just in higher quantities due to the extra personnel, but there are some
challenges," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Hammond, 51st FSS NCO in charge of
Pacific House Dining Facility operations. "Cooking the correct amount
of food takes more time and more staff."
Augmentees are brought in from around the Air Force and U.S. Marine
Corps to fill in and take some of the stress off of the permanent party
Airmen. Although these augmentees wear the same uniform, they are an
integrated force of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen.
Airman 1st Class Andrew Flinn, an Illinois Air National Guardsman food
service apprentice with the 183rd Force Support Squadron, took the
opportunity to deploy to the Peninsula for the chance to learn.
"Breaking out of the one weekend a month mentality I have been in for
the last year, has opened my eyes and given me the opportunity to
support a big operation like this," said the Havana, Illinois, native.
"Getting to know a new kitchen and learning new things like running the
grill has been a huge plus, but the most rewarding opportunity has been
to work within a new culture."
Flinn's Korean vocabulary has broadened from zero to a few short phrases
he has learned from local civilian kitchen staff. He can often be heard
uttering, "kam-sa-ham-ni-da," which means, "thank you." He also noted
his Korean counterparts' extremely dedicated work ethics to make sure
the massive meals are on time and cleaned up.
In addition to the help in the kitchen, Hammond noted the exercise is an excellent opportunity to improve operations.
"Augmentees come in with experience from their home bases and ideas we
can learn from and utilize here at home station," he said. "So, this is a
good opportunity to train and continue to sharpen our skills for the
Even though the manpower challenge is easily overcome, a temporary regulatory problem has caused a slight change in the menu.
"There is an embargo on chicken breast, which is what we use for a lot
of our meals," Hammond said. "Easy fix; we just adjust to approved
frozen or local chicken products to fill our menu. In some cases it has
proven to provide a wider variety."
Reinforced with the 10 augmentees, five from each service, the DFAC has
extended exercise hours and proven its non-stop commitment to
excellence, Hammond said.
"It's always a good thing when we get a chance to meet and network," he
said. "It provides a great opportunity to train to improve the quality
of life we aim to give our teammates here at Osan and around the world
during peacetime and contingency operations."