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Feeding our defense

Airman 1st Class Kathleen Reynolds, 90th Force Support Squadron missile chef, poses for a photo March 3, 2018, in the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex. Whether the Airmen are in the missile field for one shift or several days, they all rely on one person for their nourishment during their tour: the missile chef. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams)

Airman 1st Class Kathleen Reynolds, 90th Force Support Squadron missile chef, poses for a photo March 3, 2018, in the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex. Whether the Airmen are in the missile field for one shift or several days, they all rely on one person for their nourishment during their tour: the missile chef. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams)

Airman 1st Class Kathleen Reynolds, 90th Force Support Squadron missile chef, prepares a pizza for the Airmen working at a missile alert facility March 3, 2018, in the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex. As the sole chef at a MAF, Reynolds is responsible for feeding the Airmen stationed with her for every meal, no matter the time of day. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams)

Airman 1st Class Kathleen Reynolds, 90th Force Support Squadron missile chef, prepares a pizza for the Airmen working at a missile alert facility March 3, 2018, in the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex. As the sole chef at a MAF, Reynolds is responsible for feeding the Airmen stationed with her for every meal, no matter the time of day. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams)

Airman 1st Class Kathleen Reynolds, 90th Force Support Squadron missile chef, places a pizza into the oven in preparation for lunch time at a missile alert facility, March 3, 2018, in the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex. Missile chefs have a number of responsibilities in the field. While on location, they spend their days cooking, cleaning, and taking orders for anyone in the MAF. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams)

Airman 1st Class Kathleen Reynolds, 90th Force Support Squadron missile chef, places a pizza into the oven in preparation for lunch time at a missile alert facility, March 3, 2018, in the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex. Missile chefs have a number of responsibilities in the field. While on location, they spend their days cooking, cleaning, and taking orders for anyone in the MAF. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --

There are a number of careers in the Air Force that require Airmen to work a great distance from base. The jobs range from security forces to maintainers and a number of responsibilities in between. Whether the Airmen are in the missile field for one shift or several days, they all rely on one person for their nourishment during their tour: the missile chef.

Missile chefs have a number of responsibilities in the field. While on location, they spend their days cooking, cleaning, and taking orders for anyone in the Missile Alert Facility.

“The day for a chef usually starts around 5:45 a.m. to start preparing any breakfast orders,” said Airman 1st Class Kathleen Reynolds, 90th Force Support Squadron missile chef. “Then the same for lunch orders at about 11 a.m. and dinner at 5 p.m. After each meal, dishes are washed and anything that came in contact with food is cleaned.”

An average day for a missile chef calls for about six hours in the kitchen.

“I love this job,” said Reynolds. “I get to cook, and I have quite a bit of down time that allowed me to get my CDCs done in four months. That in itself makes this an awesome job to me.”

The day-to-day work of a missile chef can be very routine, but there are days when it can be very hectic.

 “There are days that get crazy,” said Reynolds. When the maintenance teams hit their 12-hour mark, they sometimes have to stay here at the MAF and they have to eat so it’s my job to get up, no matter the time, and cook for them – that can make for really late nights.”

Although most of the work as a missile chef is done alone, Reynolds enjoys the close knit feel of the MAFs because it gives her the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things.

“I get to see different people and interact with security forces members and crew members and really get to know them,” said Reynolds. “Since we are the only people responsible for the kitchen, and in charge of all the duties that make it function. That is a lot of responsibility as a first-term Airman, and it makes for a really sweet gig.”

The security forces Airmen rely heavily on the missile chef for friendship and nourishment.

“The missile chefs go from preparing meals to creating bonds and friendships,” said Senior Airman Catran Johnson, 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron, response force leader. “A meal goes a long way to making people happy, and we definitely have love for the Airmen that prepare those meals for us.”