Staff Sgt. Kimberly Cockrell, 341st Force Support Squadron dining facility shift leader, stocks supplies in Elkhorn dining facility's storeroom. Cockrell was one of the 14 members recognized for her performance and coined by Chief Master Sgt. Richard Rhodes, Air Force Global Strike Command chief functional manager. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Reggie Manning)
Airman 1st Class Kyle Murphy, 341st Force Support Squadron food apprentice, takes a customer's order. Murphy also was recognized during the inspection and coined by Chief Master Sgt. Richard Rhodes, Air Force Global Strike Command chief functional manager. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Reggie Manning)
by Senior Airman Reggie Manning
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
12/16/2011 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Team Malmstrom's Elkhorn Dining Facility has been named the John L. Hennessy Award winner for the Single-Unit Operations Category in Air Force Global Strike Command and will now go on to compete at the Air Force level.
The Hennessy Award is the Air Force's most prestigious honor to a food service organization. Founded in 1956, this award recognizes the special achievements of service men and women at Air Force food service facilities worldwide and is believed to have the longest standing relationship between an industry association and the military, according to www.hennessyaward.org
"It's a big deal to us and food services Air Force wide," said Tech Sgt. Donnie Parish, 341st Force Support Squadron food service NCOIC. "When we found out that we won, the entire facility was ecstatic. Some people go their entire career and never win a Hennessy Award, so we take pride in this accomplishment."
During a week-long evaluation starting on Oct. 18, the Elkhorn Dining Facility was inspected on various procedures such as: kitchen operations, serving and dining processes, training, personnel and readiness operations, sanitation and repair maintenance, and overall management procedures.
The three processes that were highlighted by the inspection team were the facility's in-house training program, the camaraderie and level of teamwork expressed, and Fryless Fridays where nothing is fried and only oven-cooked food is served.
The inspection team focused mainly on the Airmen of the establishment and watched thoroughly as they performed key tasks. The Airmen were even graded on scenarios that tested their job knowledge, checklists, recipe cards and overall attitude on the job.
"The morale and spirits are so high here and you can tell that just by walking through the door," Parish said. "Everyone loves their job and is happy to be here; you just can't beat that."
The Airmen, alongside the civilian workforce, came together during this inspection period and created a productive harmony. Although the contractors may have had different job descriptions, they never hesitated to step outside of their realm and help out with the preparation.
"Without teamwork none of this would've been possible," said Lisa Schutz, 341st FSS dining facility manager. "Everyone was involved in reaching this milestone."
Alongside the Elkhorn Dining Facility, the 341st Operations Group also won the best in Missile Feeding Operations for AFGSC, bringing home yet another trophy for Team Malmstrom.
The Best Missile Field Feeding Operation Award was introduced to allow missile chefs an opportunity to also compete within the command and further show the devotion of Air Force chefs as they undertake the strenuous responsibilities of deploying to the missile complex.
One of the 341st OG's missile alert facilities were evaluated on food production, serving and dining operations, sanitation and facility management during a week-long assessment.
In the last year, the MAFs dining facilities made major changes in preparation for this assessment. With eyes on the prize and a determination of excellence, a complete overhaul was established on their Chef Training Programs. Checklists were run constantly with the goal of strengthening their evaluation process, ensuring accuracy at the highest caliber.
"Winning this award is a culmination of a whole lot of work and effort over the past year," said Chief Master Sgt. Donald May, 341st OG superintendent. "Chef Superintendent Tech. Sgt. Brian Cool and his team executed a perfect game plan and did a phenomenal job in showcasing our contribution to the mission during the inspection team's visit."
The 341st OG was recognized for having a top notch cooking service and an extremely elaborate training program. They also scored an overall Outstanding on dining operations and training, personnel and readiness.
"I would like to thank all of the staff and leadership for their support," said Tech. Sgt. Brian Cool, 341st OG, chef superintendent. "This accomplishment was a collective effort and we couldn't ask for a better team of missile chefs."
The missile field chefs were recognized by the IG inspectors for setting the bar on future competitions with their ground-breaking procedures and warm-hearted customer service. A member of the chef team will be selected to fly to Chicago and accept the Hennessy Travelers Award for the 341st OG's exceptional performance.
"Our missile chefs would like for Malmstrom to be known as the home of the Hennessy Award," May said.
The Elkhorn DFAC and 341st OG's performance during their evaluation illustrated to the inspectors what Team Malmstrom has to offer. This triumph shows exactly what the chefs accomplish on a daily basis.
In addition to winning the Hennessy Award, 14 members were recognized for their exceptional work ethics and superior job performance, and coined by Chief Master Sgt. Richard Rhodes, Air Force Global Strike Command, chief functional manager.