TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
After closing its doors for several months, the Berg-Liles Dinning Facility (DFAC) is now officially open for business, providing Airmen with a common place to enjoy hot meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The facility reopened after being shuttered for repairs due to Hurricane Michael, a category 4 hurricane that made landfall over the installation Oct. 10, 2018.
“Any enlisted member living in unaccompanied quarters on base can eat at the DFAC as cash paying customers,” said Master Sgt. Nedward Neal, 325th Force Support Squadron food service superintendent. “Those on ESM or ‘Essential Messing’ can eat there by scanning their ID. We’re in the works of trying to expand our customer base, so stay tuned for updates on that!”
In addition to the permanent party members from Tyndall, the DFAC has also been host to the numerous Airmen on temporary duty (TDY).
“We have approximately 250 TDY Airmen here assisting with recovery efforts that the DFAC is responsible for feeding, on top of the population they normally serve,” Neal further explained. “There is no real uptick here, we are just getting back to a new norm and adjusting with minimal manning due to permanent change of station moves.”
The importance of providing Airmen with the fuel they need while the recovery efforts of the installation was not lost on the professionals of the 325th FSS.
“Having an operational DFAC is big for recovery efforts because it signals a further return to ‘normal’ from before the storm,” said MSgt. Tonya Gandy, 325th FSS dining facility manager. “The first three months, everyone was eating out of a contracted food tent which furthered the feeling of being in a deployed environment. Being able to eat in a no-kidding hardened facility is a brief respite from that feeling.”
Neal later concluded with his happiness of the progress that has been made and the work his staff has provided and will continue to provide as time goes on.
“People should be aware that our DFAC is running with a lot less staff than it was before the storm, so it’s important to bear with us as we work to bring up all of our capabilities,” Neal elaborated. “Our Airmen and the contractors who work alongside them have been doing an outstanding job providing quality meals for our Airmen, so make sure you give them a big ‘thank you!’”