EFSS racks up record food, lodging service|
by Tech. Sgt. Jerome C. Baysmore
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
4/19/2011 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- One of the main missions at the transit center is the onward movement of troops and the 376th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron did more than the status quo.
"Services" and Readiness Management Support lodging and dining facility staff worked together to produce record amounts of meals and lodging during a mid-March surge -- 278,635 meals and 20,405 transients to be exact.
"We're ecstatic about it -- we've had the opportunity to serve and impact over 20 thousand people during March," said Master Sgt. Quardrick Brumfield, 376th EFSS sustainment flight chief. "Getting folks in, bedded down into a relaxed environment with quality food service and the available fitness programs is the number one priority and something our military personnel -- working side by side with our RMS contractors and Kyrgyz personnel in a relationship that works for our operations here--is something we all take pride in.
"It's about providing effective support," he continued. "We're doing something here that directly affects the lives of virtually everyone who enters the Transit Center by maintaining quality linen and lodging, food operations, fitness program and morale issues.
"If we don't provide quality service in those areas for both our and the forces going down range, it could negatively impact their lives."
Ms. Janice Jasmin, RMS facility manager at the A'la Too and most visited dining area at the Transit Center agreed.
"I try to bring a little "southern hospitality" here," the New Orleans native added. "I'm always talking to the soldiers and always welcoming them into the facility," she said.
"I try to make you feel like you're at home and treat visitors like they're my children -- you can still have a home away from home right here with us -- there's nothing like some good food to help get you straight."
Ms. Jasmin said she and the staff are excited about breaking the record and are looking to break the next one, but they're still focused on their main mission-customer service.
"We're always trying to exceed customer satisfaction," she said. "If they're pleased, I'm pleased -- just doing my job. God blessed me to be able to come here to serve others, so I took this mission for the soldiers."
Staff Sgt. Jessica Stoddard, 376th EFSS and Colonel Mac's Dining Facility quality assurance evaluator said she's happy to be part of the record-setting team.
"You don't learn how much 2,000 people are until you're standing out front all morning during breakfast, and you don't see the same face twice," she said. "Without our RMS and Kyrgyz staff, it wouldn't have been possible -- they're the true heroes. Without them, we would have sunk so they deserve the credit here."
Sergeant Stoddard, deployed from the 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease Air National Guard, N.H., is wrapping up her three-month stint here. She also added working together with the Kyrgyz staff in food service, recreation and lodging is something she's looked forward to every day.
"It's made this trip worthwhile knowing that we've made a difference here, and I think we all feel the same way" she concluded. "This is a cool job because we're the only career field that touches everyone every single day. Whether you're eating or sleeping, services takes care of you."