Foodservice operations at five U.S. Air Force bases are getting a new look this year as the Air Force Food Transformation Initiative (FTI) moves into its second phase. The program is designed to provide airmen greater variety, availability and quality of food.
Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida; Ellsworth AFB, in South Dakota; F.E. Warren AFB, in Wyoming; Beale AFB, in California; and Vandenberg AFB, in California were the bases chosen for this stage. Dining facilities
at the five bases will be converted from institutional-style feeding platforms to the scatter or station system of dining found on college campuses. “[Campus-style dining] provides airmen the option to use their meal card entitlement at more convenient locations to where they work or reside,” says Fred McKenney, chief of Air Force Food and Beverage.
According to McKenney, FTI will transform installation foodservice operations to meet the needs of base personnel and enhance a sense of community by expanding the numbers and types of customers who can use the facilities.
“When we looked at the Air Force from a corporate perspective, we saw an opportunity to better meet the needs of airmen,” McKenney adds. “When designing FTI, we considered the entire base population to include active duty, dependents, civilians and retirees. Menus were redesigned by adding more nutritional and contemporary items.”
Additionally, FTI will enhance readiness by providing advanced culinary training. These newly acquired skills will be used to better serve customers on U.S. bases and during deployments.
“When we incorporated FTI into the first six pilot installations, it helped us assess airmen’s culinary proficiency,” McKenney notes. “This program enhances our airmen’s day-to-day cooking skills and allows practical application in a more commercial environment.”