104th Services Flight trains in Ramstein dining facilities

  • Published
  • By by 2nd Lt. Bonnie Harper
  • Massachusetts Air National Guard, Public Affairs
Airmen from the 104th Fighter Wing Services Flight, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield, Massachusetts, began their deployment training with active-duty services personnel Tuesday in dining facilities at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, learning key skills to support worldwide operations.

The guardsmen had the opportunity to work in the Rhinland Dining Facility and the Jawbone Flight Kitchen. Both dining halls provide training environments unlike the dining hall at Barnes, offering a unique training opportunity for the guardsmen. 

"It's the same process in the kitchen," said Senior Airman Barry Headlee, 104th Services Flight.

The difference is that active-duty has a 14-day menu plan and serves three meals a day, said Staff Sgt. Kaythi Rasay, Rhindland Dining Facility store room non-commissioned officer in charge. The guardsmen training at Rhindland get to experience cooking new meals and serving them throughout the day, Rasay said.

Another unique aspect to serving in an active-duty dining facility is the pace of serving customers, Headlee said. With an active-duty dining facility, open for several hours and three meals a day, people come at various times as opposed to the rush of people that the guard experiences during a drill weekend.

What makes Ramstein a unique place for services members to train is the quantity of people served, said Staff Sgt. Nathan Gains, operations and store room non-commissioned officer in charge at Jawbone Flight Kitchen.

The Jawbone Flight Kitchen provides flight meal support for local and world-wide missions, runs 24-hour operations, and typically prepares more than 500 meals per day. They prepare food and boxed lunches as needed for flight missions as well as ground operations and walk-ins, Gains said.

In contrast, during a typical guard unit training assembly, the 104th Services Flight prepares hot meals in the morning and feeds approximately 400 people between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., said Senior Airman Zach Gallerani, 104th Services Flight. 

While deployed, the 104th Services Flight is able to integrate with their active-duty counterparts and follow the same procedures in the kitchen, while having the opportunity to train on specific aspects of services that cannot be duplicated at Barnes. The skills learned at Ramstein prepare the 104th services members for future deployments and the ability to support a wide range of operations.