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CDS Airmen provide essentials to MAFs

Airman 1st Class Shae Fendrick, 341st Force Support Squadron accountant and store clerk, checks freezer item inventory Jan. 12, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Airman 1st Class Shae Fendrick, 341st Force Support Squadron accountant and store clerk, checks freezer item inventory Jan. 12, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. After stocking new supplies, each central distribution section Airman is assigned a portion of the shop to complete inventory checks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

Senior Airman Alyssa Gantt, 341st Force Support Squadron accountant and store clerk, fills up a cooler Jan. 12, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Senior Airman Alyssa Gantt, 341st Force Support Squadron accountant and store clerk, fills up a cooler Jan. 12, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Malmstrom’s central distribution section made a change to their schedule from a seven-day work week to Monday through Friday, with a 24/7 on-call member on weekends. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

Airman 1st Class Austin Wetuski, 341st Force Support Squadron accountant and store clerk, separates cereal bowls to be sent out to individual missile alert facilities Jan. 12, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Airman 1st Class Austin Wetuski, 341st Force Support Squadron accountant and store clerk, separates cereal bowls to be sent out to individual missile alert facilities Jan. 12, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Airmen with the central distribution section provide supplies missile chefs need when they post out to MAFs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- On average, over 400 Airmen are deployed to missile alert facilities in Malmstrom’s 13,800 square-mile missile field. At each MAF, it’s the responsibility of the missile chefs to ensure those Airmen are fed, allowing them to continue the support of the nuclear mission.

While missile chefs are responsible for preparing the food, Airmen with the 341st Force Support Squadron central distribution section work behind the scenes to provide food and supplies the chefs need when they post out to the missile field.

“All supplies at MAFs such as napkins, bleach, cleaning supplies they may need, or if their equipment breaks, we provide that for them,” said Senior Airman Brian Williams, 341st FSS accountant and store clerk.

When it comes to food, the CDS receives orders from missile chefs throughout the week and packs the food requested, depending on the amount of food the chefs went through from the previous day.

“We order all the food and store it (at the CDS), then the chefs order from us. That’s why it’s central distribution section,” said Tech. Sgt. Philip Harville, 341st FSS NCO in charge of accounting and store clerks. “You can consider us as a warehouse. They order from us and we distribute it to them.”

The daily routine of the CDS Airmen consists of combining cold and frozen items by cross-packing in the mornings.

Missileers, who provide the transportation for the food to each MAF, arrive to pick up their cooler from the CDS before posting out into the missile field.

“We keep the freezer and fridge items separately. In the morning when missileers come to pick up their cooler, we’ll put all the items together,” said Airman 1st Class Shae Fendrick, 341st FSS accountant and store clerk. “Then we put it on the dock and the missileers can drive it out to the MAF.”

One day out of the week is reserved for change-over days, where missile chefs return from the missile field to the CDS with the money they collected at the MAF.

“The accounting side of our job takes place on these days,” said Fendrick. “The paperwork that they bring back will tell us how much food they sold in the field, and how much it is worth.”

“We add up the totals and make sure numbers match,” she continued. “If the money is good to go, then they’re good to go.”

Beginning January 2018, the CDS made a change to their schedule from a seven-day work week to Monday through Friday, with a 24/7 on-call member on weekends.

“Out of all the bases we have, only three of them are missile bases,” said Fendrick. “The best part of the job is being part of such a specific mission. We need to make sure everyone gets fed. If we’re not here, how would the food get out there?”
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