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Chadwell dining facility keeps Warren community fit, ready to fight

Tech. Sgt. Charles Rinella, 90th FSS, adds the cheese sauce he has just made to macaroni in preparation for lunch at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Tech. Sgt. Charles Rinella, 90th FSS, adds the cheese sauce he has just made to macaroni in preparation for lunch at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Airman Joshua Herrington, 90th FSS, reaches for gloves prior to handling chicken fingers, onion rings and potato nuggets prepared for the snack line at the Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. on Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Airman Joshua Herrington, 90th FSS, reaches for gloves prior to handling chicken fingers, onion rings and potato nuggets prepared for the snack line at the Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. on Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Cashier Rosie Hinds, 90th FSS, rings up Airman Daniel Ermis, 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron, lunch on the snack line at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Cashier Rosie Hinds, 90th FSS, rings up Airman Daniel Ermis, 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron, lunch on the snack line at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Airman 1st Class Chase Ritter, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, takes his lunch plate from Susanna Watts, 90th Force Support Squadron at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Airman 1st Class Chase Ritter, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, takes his lunch plate from Susanna Watts, 90th Force Support Squadron at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Bernie Tubbs, 90th FSS, cuts cake for lunch dessert at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Bernie Tubbs, 90th FSS, cuts cake for lunch dessert at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Staff Sgt. Asenath Linton, 90th FSS, tastes the gravy she’s preparing before lunch at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Staff Sgt. Asenath Linton, 90th FSS, tastes the gravy she’s preparing before lunch at Chadwell Dining Facility on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Jan. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

A food thermometer is used to ensure the lunch entrée of baked chicken is thoroughly and safely cooked at Chadwell Dining Facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

A food thermometer is used to ensure the lunch entrée of baked chicken is thoroughly and safely cooked at Chadwell Dining Facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, WYO -- Louis Almodovar, 90th Force Support Squadron, and his staff at the Chadwell Dining Facility at Air Force Global Strike Command's F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., serve an average of 300 meals a day. To do so, the dining facility operates two shifts; the first shift working from 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the second works from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

But, according to Mr. Almodovar, he faces bigger challenges as Warren's food service officer.

"Our biggest challenge is trying to get our cliental in here," said Mr. Almodovar. Most of the Airmen on base receive Basic Allowance for Subsistence instead of a meal card.

"They're going more towards other on-base eating establishments," Mr. Almodovar said. "We are figuring out how we are going to attract this cliental back to us."
One option the dining facility does not have is to take requests.

"We have very little control over what we put out there because we are mandated to follow the Air Force menu," Almodovar said.

The Air Force menu is a 14-day rotation of meals which can be found in the Warren Sentinel and in a pamphlet available in the dining facility. The Chadwell staff operates a second line providing sandwiches, hamburgers and other fast-food style items.

Those who do choose to eat in the dining facility tend to be satisfied. During a recent lunch, Staff Sgt. Matt Ruebelman, 37th Helicopter Squadron, said he found eating at the dining facility to be a healthier choice at a better price.

The challenges the Chadwell dining facility face are not just a local situation, added Mr. Almodovar.

Warren is not the only base feeling this type of crunch, he said. There are other bases out there in the Air Force that are encouraging a higher clientel.

According to Mr. Almodovar, one solution the Air Force is looking at is "food transformation."

Mr. Almodovar describes food transformation as an experimental program, merging the dining facility and the club's food operation. The Air Force is testing the program at some bases.

He predicts the outcome of such a merger would give his customers a greater variety of choice in what to eat and will increase his customer base.

"The good news is there are going to be more commercial items, and it will be open to virtually everyone on base," Mr. Almodovar said.

However, Mr. Almodovar stresses that food transformation is not a sure thing in Warren's future.

"We are in the second phase of testing right now," Mr. Almodovar said. "It's not yet a definite thing, but it's being studied."