Ramstein welcomes Hennessy evaluators

by Airman 1st Class
435th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 435th Services Squadron food service team was recently selected to compete for the prestigious 2009 John L. Hennessy Award.

The award is part of an annual competition designed to test who has the best food service program in the Air Force.

The award is based on the entire process of an installation’s food service program in five graded categories.

They will be evaluated in various areas of kitchen operations, serving and dining operations, training, personnel and readiness, sanitation and repair maintenance and

management standards. This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the single and multiple-facility category competition. Ramstein will compete in the multiple-facility category as winners of the Food Service Excellence Award representing U.S. Air Forces in Europe in this Air Force level competition.

With Ramstein as their first stop, the inspection team will visit the 435th Services Squadron facilities today and Jan. 31 to take a close look at the Rheinland Inn, the Lindberg Hof Dining Facility and the Jawbone In-Flight Kitchen.

“It’s a huge honor to be competing for such a prestigious award. Our entire food service team has been working extremely hard to ensure that we are ready for this evaluation” said Senior Master Sgt. Steven Longoria, 435th SVS Food Service section chief. “While supporting the biggest, busiest and best base in the Air Force, we do it with pride and confidence in supporting all its missions.” 

In the KMC, that’s a huge task. For most dining facilities, the thought of feeding an entire wing at one time is a huge undertaking.

On Ramstein, the food service team tackles the job of supporting three wings, one MAJCOM, two NAFs and an active-duty force greater than 11,000 strong.

“The food service operation here is amazing and the largest I’ve seen,” said Lt. Col.

Dawn C. Lancaster, 435th SVS commander. “The support our food service team provides affects so many different servicemembers and missions, whether they are coming through Ramstein on a deployment, attending the NCO Academy and Airman Leadership School or are permanent party members.”

In a job where dining facilities are always open, there are no days off and no calling in sick.

The support the entire food team delivers is critical and ensures that all Airmen at Ramstein are able to “fuel the mission.” 

And they’ve done just that, already being recognized as the No. 1 food service operation in the command by receiving the 2009 USAFE Food Services Excellence award.