446th FSS provides reinforcements at Beale AFB
By Jake Chappelle, 446th Airlift Wing
/ Published May 01, 2015
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
A team of services specialists from the 446th Force Support Squadron refined their skills during their two-week annual training tour, as guests of the 9th FSS Sustainment Services Flight at Beale Air Force Base, Calif.
The half-dozen McChord Airmen were there April 13 to 27, 2015, supporting services operations, and fulfilling their skill-level requirements in food service, fitness, and recreation.
"Beale was an available opportunity on the wish list, and they needed help" said Tech. Sgt. Andrea Barrow, 446th FSS Services training manager. "About 40 percent of their services flight is deployed."
Master Sgt. Charles Rinella, 9th FSS Food Services section chief, said his unit made sure their temporary reinforcements were assigned to areas where they needed them, and where could satisfy their skill-level training commitments.
"They were really good people and worked hard," Rinella, a nearly 16-year Air Force veteran said. "We ensured they were put in places where they could learn (according to their training plans)."
Barrow, who's been in the 446th since 2002, said supporting an Air Force-led base was a new experience to the younger Airmen who'd only been assigned to JBLM, and a refresher for the unit vets.
"It gave us a (new) perspective on how things work on an Air Force base," she said. "We helped maintain the softball fields, and experienced what an intramural sports director does instead of just standing behind a counter (at the fitness center)."
Staff Sgt. Bethany Hiser, 446th FSS services specialist, said they worked during the wee hours and were always on their feet.
"We got there at 4 a.m. and we didn't stop," she said. "There is so much prep work. Executive chefs run the dining facility, and we follow their lead. They taught us proper cutting techniques, how to slice, dice, julienne, etcetera."
Beale's Contrails Dining Facility was one of the highest-rated in the service, since implementing the Food Transformation Initiative (which focuses on the quality of Air Force dining), Rinella said. And the 446th team exceeded expectations.
"They were enthusiastic, disciplined and did well," he said. "They did their part and got along well with the other personnel. (I) can't complain."
The feelings were mutual, according to Barrow.
"They were really inviting, extremely knowledgeable, and made us feel very welcome," she said. "They were surprised how fast the two weeks went by. They were like, 'what, you guys are leaving already?'"