CHARLOTTE, NC, UNITED STATES
Story by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Ballard
01/13/2019 – CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Food services Airmen from both the North Carolina Air National Guard and Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York, combine recipes for annual training during January drill in Charlotte, N.C. Members from the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station were able to gain hands-on experience operating a full-service kitchen from food preparation and cooking to serving lunch in preparation for the upcoming Hennessy Award competition.
“This experience has been pretty eye opening for us because our kitchen is run by contractors, and mostly everything is prepped for us so we don’t get exposure to running a full-service kitchen that often,” said Tech. Sgt. Benjamin St. Onge from the 914th Air Reserve Station, Force Support Squadron.
Seven Airmen from the 914th Force Support Squadron, Niagara Falls Air Refueling Wing, N.Y., have spent part of their annual training with food service members from the 145th Force Support Squadron, working together to serve more than 300 daily hot meals to Airmen during drill.
“We typically don’t get to cook all four days for super drill [extended drill] because we need to complete our training and this has been so great for us to have the extra help,” said Senior Master Sgt. Annemarie Trial, sustainment services superintendent of the 145th Force Support Squadron.
Members from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station are using their time in Charlotte to train for an upcoming Air Force active duty and reserve competition called the Hennessy Award. The competition evaluates dining facilities in the areas of excellence in management, force readiness support, food quality and production, employee and customer relations, training, and safety awareness.
Senior Master Sgt. Trial, a seasoned veteran in food services and previous executive chef for Aramark, said, “They’ve been able to learn the progress, hone their skills, the timing of cooking, use of recipe cards, and practice those skills in a high speed full service kitchen.” Trial knows what it takes for a team to be successful during this type of competition because she has twice served on the inspection team of the Air National Guard equivalent competition.
“We feel more prepared for the competition and it’s been nice working here with the guard. Combining the reserves and guard has been a beneficial experience for us and at the end of the day, we bleed blue,” said Tech. Sgt. St. Onge.