PACAF Sweeps Three Coveted Air Force Awards
By Staff Sgt. Chris Haug
HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (PACAFNS Ė March 31, 2000) Ė In a clean sweep, three Pacific Air Forces bases garnered top Air Force awards recently.
PACAF took the Commander-in-Chiefís Annual Award for Installation Excellence and both of the top Air Force John L. Hennessy Trophies.
"These awards are part of a trend Iíve seen develop in the Pacific in the past couple of years," Gen. Patrick K. Gamble, PACAF commander, said. "Itís a trend of sustained excellence that shows it takes more than money to build an award winning installation Ė it takes good unit leadership, innovative thought, dedicated people, and the pursuit of improvement."
Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, was this yearís winner of the Installation Excellence award. Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, and Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, each won their category of the Hennessy competition, which recognizes the two best food services programs in the Air Force.
Kunsanís achievement is especially notable because of the baseís daunting challenges--an aging infrastructure and meeting the needs of a continuously changing population of people on a one-year remote assignment. The award marks PACAFís second consecutive win, Hickam having won the trophy last year. Prior to that, PACAF wins were few and far between, with Elmendorf winning in 1994 and Kadena in 1985.
The installation excellence award recognizes the outstanding efforts of the people who operate and maintain Air Force installations and who have done the best with their resources to support the mission. It also recognizes commanders and supervisors who create an environment that promotes innovative and creative ways of enhancing base-level services, facilities, and quality of life. The award places significant value on a special winning attitude.
Some of the key projects Kunsan accomplished last year were highlighted by the fact that they are currently executing a multi-year construction program, which includes in excess of $100 million in facility upgrades and they have another $150 million programmed. They removed more than 38 inefficient facilities saving more than $1.2 million in operations and energy. They improved their security forces central security control facility and revamped the base entry gates to improve security at a base located in the middle of what Secretary of State Madeline Albright called one of the most dangerous areas in the world. They improved work facilities for many agencies on base to include supply, medical, airfield, weather, fuels, chapel, library, dorm, family support, and education facilities.
In addition to the trophy, Kunsan will receive $1 million, which they will use for quality of life improvements.
As the first food services operation in Korea to compete at Air Force level, the 51st Services Squadron, Osan, set a record when it captured the 2000 John L. Hennessy Trophy for the multi-facility category.
The squadron won the award despite having the two oldest dining facilities in the Air Force inventory. They also dethroned Hurlburt Air Force Base, Fla., reigning two-year champions of the multi-facility category and winner of the single-facility category in 1997.
"Itís like winning the Super Bowl of food services," said Master Sgt. Jimmy Daniels, food services operations chief. "The entire unit is ecstatic about this award."
Osanís food service was noted for serving more than 1.2 million meals and more than 156,900 flight- and ground-support meals last year. Customer satisfaction was increased by 90 percent through innovative cooking practices.
The 3rd Services Squadron, Elmendorf, rounded off the PACAF sweep when they walked off with the single-facility category for the 2000 John L. Hennessy Trophy competition. The Denali dining hall was noted for its excellent appearance and innovative menus and practices, including a Dining Facility Improvement Council, composed of meal-card holders who use the facility daily.
The John L. Hennessy Trophy is the highest award given in the Air Force for food service. The award is based on the entire scope of an installationís food service program exhibiting excellence in management effectiveness, force readiness support, food service quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation, training, and safety awareness. (Staff Sgt. Karin Wickwire, 51st Fighter Wing public affairs, Osan, contributed to this story.)
A Pacific Air Force news story, dated March 31, 2000.