BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA, UNITED STATES
Story by Airman 1st Class Tessa Corrick
Four Airmen from the 2nd Force Support Squadron dining facility recently trained with professional chefs at Boomtown Casino and Hotel, in Bossier City, La.
The four-week partnership program, focused specifically on furthering skills learned during Air Force technical school.
“They don’t get in depth training at tech school specifically for food,” said Tech. Sgt. Dawn Frehse, 2nd FSS dining facility food service section chief. “This is because they have six weeks to go over fitness, sports and recreation, mortuary affairs, honor guard, protocol, lodging, and food. That’s a significant amount of information to cram into six weeks of training.”
Frehse added that these types of culinary skill sets are a requirement for Airmen and the program provided a great opportunity for them to enhance those skills.
“This kind of training sets them up for success,” Frehse said. “If they do end up at a base that does baking, they will be capable of going in and completing tasks with little to no training when they get there.”
Along with learning about baking, the participants were also taught skills in buffet, steakhouse and international cuisine.
“We worked on the presentation of food and how to concentrate on different flavors and techniques. We made a little bit of everything,” said Airman 1st Class Mia Luciano, 2nd FSS dining food service apprentice, who attended the program in July.
The program allowed the students to gain new perspectives in their career field. It also gave them an opportunity to enhance people skills that they utilize every day at their job.
“Working in the community we were able to see how alike and different it is in the military compared to civilian sector when it comes to aspects like food preparation and serving,” Luciano said. “It made me appreciate the fast paced work we do here on base.”
“It was such a good experience,” she added. “We got to interact with a lot of different types of people. A lot of what we worked on was customer service, which is a huge deal to us at the dining facility . We are always trying to improve those skills.”
Overall, the immersion is proving to be successful through the eyes of 2nd FSS dining facility leadership.
“I think it’s a good program, it’s great for networking and it’s an awesome partnership that really gives these Airmen something to strive for,” Frehse said. “There is still room for improvement, but this is a worthy program to be a part of.”