Kunsan DFAC serves the Wolf Pack
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More than 2,400 people are served daily at the O'Malley Dining Facility, thanks to the hardworking staff here at Kunsan.
Behind the scenes, more than 78 personnel, consisting of active duty Air Force and Korean civilians, fuel this mission.
"It is important that we provide first class programs and services to the Wolf Pack," said Tech. Sgt. James Tarone, 8th Force Support Squadron dining facility manager. "To put it simply, we keep Airmen fueled to fight."
According to Lt. Col. Jeffery Sutton, 8th Force Support Squadron commander, the dining facility sets the example in the Air Force by continuing to find ways to improve the service provided to the warrior Airmen at Kunsan.
One of the dietary programs the O'Malley Dining Facility offers is the "Go for Green" nutrition service. Individual food items on the serving line are labeled by color representing their nutritional value. Green is healthy, yellow is moderately healthy, and red is the least healthy.
They also offer the monthly meal specials such as steak for breakfast and birthday meals. The steak for breakfast meal takes place every first Tuesday of the month. Birthday meals are specifically for members whose birthday is in the current month, but members may bring one guest along with them. This month, the meal will be held Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.
What most customers experience when they stand at the serving line is only a fraction of the job the staff at the DFAC performs--the rest happens in the kitchen and the storeroom.
Storeroom operations, being completely run by active duty members, are considered the backbone of the organization. They receive approximately nine thousand pounds of food from local vendors daily. They also have to pull roughly 600 pounds of meat to thaw out each day for the next 72 hours.
"The heart of the operation is the storeroom, where our Airmen receive and diligently organize our shipments," said Tarone. "They have the toughest job in the food operation. They have to interact with off-base vendors, while trying to get the best products and newest items on the menu."
Airmen 1st class and senior airmen are often tasked to be military shift leaders. They designate about six cooks to prepare around 20 food items each meal period. The shift leaders are also responsible for taste testing food items and ensuring proper food temperature of all items.
"Our Airmen are asked to lead very early in their career," said Tarone. "They learn to adapt to the job quickly and display their leadership abilities every day by always looking for better ways to improve service at the dining facility."
Working through recent problems such as hood and duct issues challenged the staff to be creative.
"We are always finding work-arounds for broken equipment, but we are looking forward to the increase in service and efficiency now that the replacement equipment has been installed," said Tarone.
Providing service to Airmen at the DFAC is a combined effort that includes Korean civilian employees.
"We have a great working relationship with our Korean counterparts," said Tarone. "As we work side by side all day, we constantly strive to improve our communications. I really appreciate the opportunity to work with the Korean members of our community."
Though a great relationship between employees is a plus, there are also stressors that come with the job. At times when equipment becomes unserviceable, we find innovative ways to continue providing quality services to our customers, added Tarone.
The dining facility and its hard working staff pride themselves on being the best when it comes to listening to their customers.
"It's up to the customers to tell us what they think of our service so we can provide the best quality food product possible," said Tarone. "We appreciate all feedback, good and bad, because it's that input that helps us make the dining facility a better place for the Airmen who visit."
Comment cards are offered to customers at the counter by the register to provide feedback to the DFAC staff regarding the quality of service. Customers can also go online to the Howler's website to provide feedback as well.
A food forum is also available to voice your thoughts about anything concerning the facility's programs and to discuss what you would like to see in the future, such as items on the menu, said Sutton, at a recent Wolf Pack town hall meeting. Airmen are welcome to attend the next forum on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m.
"I honestly enjoy the opportunity of getting to eat at the dining facility every day," said Tech. Sgt. Hezekiah Odom, 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron individual protective equipment section non-commissioned officer in charge and DFAC customer. "There is always a large variety of nutritious foods to select from and the staff is always happy you're there."