DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, DE, UNITED STATES
Story by Tech. Sgt. J.D. Strong II
The Patterson Dining Facility closed for renovations on its electrical systems and walk-in refrigerator, July 12, 2021.
Dover Air Force Base leaders have initiated several programs and options for dorm residents to ensure quality of life during the closure.
All Essential Station Messing (ESM) Airmen will receive basic allowance for subsistence.
Dorm residents with kitchenettes will receive normal BAS while those without kitchenettes will receive double the normal rate of BAS. Each Airman will receive their first BAS payment in their August 1, 2021 paycheck.
Despite the closure, the flight kitchen will remain open, operating out of the Heavy Lifter’s Kiosk and is available for flight meals 24/7. The menu will be limited due to space and cooking capabilities.
In addition to the flight kitchen, the 436th Force Support Squadron has provided additional options for Airmen.
Mugs Café is available for dine-in and carry-out, Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. FREDS is available for dine-in and carry-out, Monday through Friday, 12 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 12 to 6 p.m., but is closed on Sundays and holidays. Also, the 436th FSS partnered with the Army Air Force Exchange Service to provide food trucks available in the DFAC parking lot during weekdays. Breakfast hours for the trucks are 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and lunch is available from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“Our Airmen are vital to accomplishing the Dover AFB mission,” said Lt. Col. Kady Griffin, 436th FSS commander. “We must do whatever it takes to maintain their quality of life. Our dorm Airmen in particular rely on leaders and their wingmen for support. I appreciate the work of Team Dover in their efforts to provide resources for our Airmen during the DFAC closure.”
Beginning July 20, to assist the Airmen in the dorms without a vehicle, the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron will provide a free shuttle service from the dining facility to the commissary. The shuttle will operate on a 30-minute rotation, Tuesday to Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Dover AFB First Sergeants Council expanded capacity of the existing food pantry.
“In coordination with wing leadership, we requested authorization to use a storage space in Building 435 to expand our current operation of canned goods and dry foods,” said Master Sgt. Tony Otis, 436th Comptroller Squadron and Wing Staff Agencies first sergeant. “We came up with ways to feed our dorm Airmen to ensure they are taken care of while the ESM program is suspended.”
According to Otis, the council worked with the unaccompanied housing team and Airmen dorm leaders to prepare for the expansion. Utilizing a $4,000 donation from Operation Warm Heart, the council purchased a freezer and microwaveable meals for dorm residents without a kitchenette. The Delaware Military Support Organization is also providing an industrial deep freeze unit to assist with accommodating frozen foods.
Dorm Airmen can access the pantry at any time, but will need to contact their supervisor or first sergeant.
The dining facility is scheduled to re-open at the beginning of September 2021.