McChord Flight kitchen keeps Airmen mission ready

Airman 1st Class Arlena Harges, 627th Force Support Squadron food services apprentice, prepares a box meal in the McChord flight kitchen Feb. 14, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The flight kitchen prepares boxed meals that are available to flight crews, dorm residents, active duty members paying cash, and Department of Defense employees who would not be able to attend the Olympic Dining Facility during regular hours of operation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Divine Cox)

Airman 1st Class Arlena Harges, 627th Force Support Squadron food services apprentice, prepares a box meal in the McChord flight kitchen Feb. 14, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The flight kitchen prepares boxed meals that are available to flight crews, dorm residents, active duty members paying cash, and Department of Defense employees who would not be able to attend the Olympic Dining Facility during regular hours of operation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Divine Cox)

Airman 1st Class Arlena Harges, 627th Force Support Squadron food services apprentice, cuts vegetables for sandwiches and salads in the McChord flight kitchen Feb. 14, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The entrées for the boxed meals includes different types of sandwiches including turkey, ham and roast beef. They also have breaded chicken strips and a chef salad, as well as breakfast items. The supplemental options are often pre-contained food items such as chips, cookies, fresh fruit and your choice of beverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Divine Cox)

Airman 1st Class Arlena Harges, 627th Force Support Squadron food services apprentice, cuts vegetables for sandwiches and salads in the McChord flight kitchen Feb. 14, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The entrées for the boxed meals includes different types of sandwiches including turkey, ham and roast beef. They also have breaded chicken strips and a chef salad, as well as breakfast items. The supplemental options are often pre-contained food items such as chips, cookies, fresh fruit and your choice of beverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Divine Cox)

Boxed meals are created for Team McChord Airmen in the McChord flight kitchen Feb. 14, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The flight kitchen is open 24 hours and serves a variety of foods to meet the different dietary needs of Team McChord Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Divine Cox)

Boxed meals are created for Team McChord Airmen in the McChord flight kitchen Feb. 14, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The flight kitchen is open 24 hours and serves a variety of foods to meet the different dietary needs of Team McChord Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Divine Cox)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.— --

Members of Team McChord never have to worry about missing a meal because the 627th Force Support Squadron flight kitchen is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing boxed meals at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

The flight kitchen prepares boxed meals that are available to flight crews, dorm residents, active duty members paying cash and Department of Defense employees who would not be able to eat at the Olympic Dining Facility during regular hours of operation.

“We provide more than 9,000 meals annually to Team McChord personnel,” said Staff Sgt. Cody Christensen, 627th FSS flight kitchen noncommissioned officer in charge.

The entrées for the boxed meals include different types of sandwiches including turkey, ham and roast. They also have beef, breaded chicken strips and a chef salad, as well as breakfast items. The supplemental options are often pre-contained food items such as chips, cookies, fresh fruit and your choice of beverage.

The flight kitchen offers two ways Airmen can order meals.

“Usually, Team McChord Airmen call in for the ground meals,”said Christensen. “For the flight meals, the passenger terminal and the aircrew fax us the information for the meals.”

There are few differences between the flight kitchen and the Olympic Dining Facility.

“The first difference is that we are open 24 hours,” said Christensen. “They have set hours for their meals and they do not have a midnight meal.”

According to Airman 1st Class Arlena Harges, 627th FSS food services apprentice, another difference she said is the flight kitchen is more like a grab-and-go with salads and sandwiches, while the dining facility has a set menu with a grill and hot bar.

The flight kitchen sometimes receives big orders and that can be challenging for a small shop of five Airmen.

“We only have five Airmen including myself that work here in the flight kitchen,” said Christensen. “Receiving big orders can be challenging because of the manning here. My four Airmen are all on the Panama [schedule] of 12-hour shifts with only two working at a time.”

Flight kitchens vary from base to base. Some bases have their flight kitchen attached to their dining facility, while others like McChord field have their flight kitchen located on the flightline for easier access for aircrew and maintenance Airmen.

“Our mission is to prepare and sustain the force,” said Christensen. “Whenever the phone rings or a fax comes through our office, no matter how big or small the order is, we get the job done.”

The flight kitchen has a direct impact on the mission by providing convenient meals to those who need a meal no matter the time of day. For more information on ordering and food options at McChord’s flight kitchen call (253) 982-2828.