45th Sust. Bde. competes for DFAC excellence

| September 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by 
Capt. Jonathan Fredericks
45th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

Food service specialists of the 45th Sust. Bde., 8th TSC, serve hungry Soldiers and civilians lunch during the 43rd Annual Philip A. Connelly Inspection, Sept. 23. SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — If you were to ask Soldiers from the 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, what the standard is for everything they do, they would all tell you, “excellence,” and this standard was recently demonstrated by the Soldiers and civilians of the 45th Sust. Bde. Dining Facility, located in K-Quad, here.  

They participated in the Department of the Army level of the Philip A. Connelly Competition for large garrison DFACs, Sept. 23. The contest was created to find out which large garrison DFAC is the best in the Army. 

The brigade is competing against six other Army DFACs throughout the world, so the pressure for excellence is on.  

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Phillip Saunders and Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Cosme, outgoing and incoming 45th Sust. Bde. food advisors, were both responsible for ensuring their team was as prepared for the competition as they could be, with help from Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Lambert, DFAC manager.

The inspectors were James Riddle, chair of the 43rd annual Connelly evaluation team, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ellen Magras and Sgt. Maj. Andrea Farmer, both representatives of the International Food Services Executives Association, or IFSEA, based out of Fort Lee, Va., home of the Army’s Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, or JCCoE. 

DFACs are judged on 10 areas during a 10-hour inspection process that starts well before breakfast is served and continues through the completion of lunch, to identify how well a DFAC operates throughout the day. This process is almost identical to the Connelly field kitchen inspection that the 45th Sust. Bde. DFAC participated in just a few weeks ago.

The Connelly program consists of five categories, including large garrison, small garrison and field kitchens for active duty, Reserve and National Guard. 

“The mere fact we are here (to inspect) means that they run a good operation,” Riddle said, when asked how the K-Quad DFAC is doing in the competition thus far.

DFACs have to compete in regional competitions to be considered for the DA level of the competition.  

“Our first concern is acceptability (of food) by the Soldier,” Riddle said. “If the Soldier doesn’t like it, then the mission has not been accomplished. We (also) look at the sanitation aspect (and) the administration/record keeping, (but) preparation is probably the biggest thing we look at, because if it’s not prepared well, then it’s not served well.”

Civilians and food service specialists prepare for months to ensure they are able to meet the brigade and the Army’s standard of excellence.

“I had to go through a lot of my standard operating procedures – such as safety, hazardous materials, repairs and utilities, and energy conservation – to ensure they were correct and (if they weren’t) to make the necessary updates,” said Staff Sgt. Jimmy Speegle, noncommissioned officer in charge of repairs and utilities, 45th Sust. Bde.

Throughout inspection day, DFAC Soldiers and civilians operated like a well-oiled machine, busily preparing food and serving their customers with a smile.

“Communication, that’s number one,” said Spc. Jason Lozano, food service specialist, 45th Sust. Bde., when asked what the key to winning the Connelly competition is. “You have one person making decisions and another person making decisions. If those two people aren’t on the same page, all the Soldiers beneath them are going to be confused, and there will be last-minute changes.”

At the conclusion of the inspection, Soldiers and civilians received certificates of appreciation from Riddle for their outstanding commitment to excellence. Riddle and Farmer also awarded the first coins ever from IFSEA and JCCoE.

“We have a good chance at winning,” Speegle said.

Category: News

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