134th ARW Services Airmen support DFT in Latvia

Master Sgt. Deonne Woodlief, a services technician with the 134th Force Support Squadron assists Latvian services troops in preparing food for the 134th Civil Engineer Squadron during their annual deployment for training at Camp Adazi, May 4-19. The services Airmen had the unique opportunity to work and train in the dining facility with Canadian military troops who ran the facility.



Story by Staff Sgt. Ben Mellon 

134th Air Refueling Wing 

CAMP ADAZI, LATVIA (May 8, 2018) – Airmen from the 134th Force Support Squadron traveled to Latvia to support the 134th Civil Engineer Squadron on their annual deployment for training here, May 4-19.
Each year the CES travels to different locations for their DFT. Typically they bring two members of Services to assist with the planning of food and morale activities for the Airmen on their trip.
“So this year the 134th CES brought us on this trip to possibly help out with meals, plan Morale, Wellness and Recreation activities for Airmen during downtime, and plan the end of DFT party for our guys,” said Master Sgt. Deonna Woodlief, a services technician with the 134th FSS. “When we got here we found the base had a very large full-functioning dining facility which provided all the meals. We spent some time working with CES on their job site learning a lot about what they do, but as soon as we got the opportunity we decided to go see if we could help out in the DFAC and maybe even get some training while we were there.”
After realizing they would not need to provide meals to the 134th CES on the trip, they quickly realized this was going to be a great training opportunity for them to work in the chow hall here on site with the Canadian military members who run the facility.
“This was an incredible training opportunity for us,” said Woodlief. “We not only got to work with Canadians but also the Latvian and Polish troops as well. It was great to see how we actually do most things the same. Some of the forms are formatted slightly different but it’s amazing that although we are from completely different countries, we do basically the same job and we do it mostly the same way.”
The Camp Adazi DFAC feeds a large number of troops from many different countries, which means it takes a pretty large amount of food to keep everyone fed. To process this much food it takes some unique equipment able to handle large portions which the 134th FSS troops don’t get a chance to work with often.
“The kitchen in the DFAC is enormous,” said Woodlief. “Everything in there was just huge. I had a great opportunity to train on equipment that I have never seen and the Canadians and Latvians took us right in and were happy to help us out and give us the training we needed.”
Any time Airmen can work and train as joint force with allied nations it is an opportunity to strengthen both parties.
“It’s very important for us to train with other nations like the Canadians,” said Staff Sgt. Brent Leach, services technician with the 134th Force Support Squadron. “We need to work with them. We need to see how they do it differently and even the same because you could find yourself in a deployed location and be the only American services troop there. We need to be able to jump right in and work along-side them.”

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