JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, UNITED STATES
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Miriam Espinoza
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington – On April 11 the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command activated the 564th Quartermaster Company. The company, the fifth field feeding company in the Army, forms part of a new Army Force Design Update, which consolidates culinary specialist and field feeding equipment into company teams.
564th Quartermaster Company will assign culinary specialist teams to echelon above brigade units requiring food service support during field training exercises or forward deployments.
“The Field Feeding Company concept was envisioned to mitigate field feeding support constrains at the EAB level,” said Lt. Col. Casey Holler, commander, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. “This new Force structure allows for better centralized synchronization of field feeding support and also opens ups new leadership opportunity for senior culinary specialists.”
Consolidating culinary specialists into one unit creates modular, scalable field feeding capabilities to support both home station training and deployment operations. It also creates several new positions, to include 1st Sgt., Platoon Sgt., and Operation Sergeant positions specifically designed to be filled by culinary specialists to lead Soldiers with the same specialty.
“The field feeding company concept enables the company to support more units across JBLM with less personnel and it saves the Army money,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Nick Yuquimpo, senior food advisor, 593rd ESC.
Having field feeding companies across the Army will also reduce early entry contract requirements and provides options other than the Logistics Civil Augmentation Programs, which is a program that provides alternative manpower to the Army force structure. Additionally field feeding companies provide the Army deployable organizations that can address EAB feeding requirements anywhere in the world.
“Consolidating culinary specialists under one command provides flexibility to provide field feeding requirements wherever they are needed,” said Col. Mark W. Vandersteen, plans officer, 593rd ESC. “If there’s a big requirement for an exercise we get to surge all the culinary specialists under that one exercise.”
Prior to the implementation of the FFC each organization had culinary specialists assigned to them and would take them to the field and on deployments; however, smaller units did not have equipment necessary to support field feeding operations and would require support from a higher echelons.
Activating the 564th Qm Co. included taking all those culinary specialists and field feeding equipment from units across JBLM, excluding Brigade Combat Teams, Special Forces units, and correctional facilities, and assigning them to one unit, who’s mission is to support units across JBLM with field feeding support alleviating issues of shortage of personnel or equipment.
“It is a challenging mission for that command team, they have a full time requirement to operate dinning facilities, support field feeding exercises, and train their Soldiers to be ready to deploy,” said Vandersteen.
The unit is comprised of 12 separate field feeding teams that have the capability to support training exercises to include deployable organizations to address their feeding requirements.
“Our mission is important for the Army because our ability to meet the warfighter’s subsistence needs directly contributes to the supported unit’s combat power,” said Capt. Joseph Yu, commander, 564th Qm. Co.