Newly-Revised Food Plan Reaches Air Force Missile Alert Facilities
By Mary Ann Roney
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFPN) -- The quality of life for troops working in missile alert facilities will improve dramatically in the not so distant future because of a newly revised food service program.
Air Force Services Agency recently approved a plan to implement a full earned income credit system for all food that is purchased by meal card holders at missile alert facilities, or MAF's. This is a major improvement from the past system and will provide additional benefits for some of the youngest airmen stationed at these facilities.
This new allowance, which began Feb.1, will enhance the unit's ability to provide meals without the risk of exceeding the Basic Daily Food Allowance (approximately $8 a day per person for three meals).
Earned income credit means the MAF recoups the actual cost of all food consumed by Subsistence-in-Kind (meal card) customers, with Basic-Allowance-for-Subsistence patrons continuing to pay the cost of their food along with applicable surcharges.
According to Chief Master Sgt. Lee Huntoon, chief of Food Services, Air Force Space Command, "benefits include more variety of food, higher individual cost food items, birthday meals and specialty menus."
In the past the Air Force has served a type of frozen "TV dinner" or microwaveable meal that was heated and served. Although chefs provided some cook-to-order meals, the daily menu was lacking in selection, quantity and quality, as well as being very little challenge to the cooks. These food service improvements will help missile chefs to use their considerable culinary talents more effectively, according to Huntoon.
A typical MAF chef serves 10-12 people at least three meals and one snack per day. This adds up to more than 30 separate meals and potentially 30 different meal times.
Vendors are providing commercial brand name products to the MAF's, said Senior Master Sgt. Tom Gillett, AFSPC's superintendent of ICBM Operations.
"The chefs will be moving away from microwave meals and will be able to design meal plans using both fresh and frozen items in much the same way that full service restaurants or military clubs do. For example, they will use a frozen entrée such as Chicken Cordon Bleu with a hand-tossed salad and a fresh baked dessert."
Also available will be standard "cook to order" items just like those served at the local hamburger stand. This freedom of choice will provide individuals deployed to the missile fields with better food, which, in turn, will make happier troops, said Gillett.
Being miles from an established base, hours away from the nearest restaurant, working duty shifts that may last for days, missile alert facility personnel can count on at least one thing. They will enjoy nutritious meals prepared especially for them.
An U.S. Air Force News story, dated Feb. 7, 2000.