Tent City Dining Facility Fully Operational
Sgt. Jeff Loftin
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea (PACAFNS) -- After fighting the opposition force all night, defenders can at least get a hot breakfast thanks to 22 services troops deployed to Osan's Tent City in support of Exercise Foal Eagle.
Starting before dawn, they prepare the meals that help raise the morale of hundreds of residents who eat at the Tent City dining facility each meal.
"Starting out we were feeding close to 400, but that dropped off when they started playing war games," said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Lanier, deployed from the 35th Services Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan. "We're serving roughly between 200 and 250 per meal now. We started out doing two hot meals and one cold. Now, we're doing three hot meals. It was requested and we have the manning, so we do it. It's something extra for those working so hard."
The staff started out serving tray packs, which are prepackaged meals that just need to be warmed, then served. But the quality wasn't as good, said Lanier. They stopped serving them on day three.
"Now we're serving the real stuff like yakisoba, spaghetti, baked chicken, sweet-and-sour chicken, beef stew and ham slices," he added. "We even have a deli bar. That went over well."
Osan's 51st Services Squadron provides food for deployed members from their two base dining facilities. The Tent City services members cook for the troops in a new field kitchen housed in two semi-truck trailers.
"It can do anything a regular dining facility can do," said Airman 1st Class Shiloh Crabb, deployed here from the 3rd Services Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. "It's like a mini-dining facility. In one of the trailers we have a full dish washing machine, which makes it a lot easier. We have all the equipment in the kitchen trailer that we would have in a regular dining facility. So, it's easier to do more."
Deployed civil engineer personnel provided all the electrical and water hook ups for the field kitchen. Without their help the dining facility staff wouldn't have been able to do their job so well, according to Lanier.
Foal Eagle exercises end today and the dining facility will serve its last hot meal at dinner Monday.
An U.S. Pacific Air Force news story, dated Oct. 29, 1999.