New era in food service: Food Transformation Initiative

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexxis Mercer)

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexxis Mercer)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- For more than 60 years, the Air Force has fed Airmen and their families through traditional dining facilities, clubs and snack bars. The Food Transformation Initiative will offer contemporary and exciting dining experiences that are designed to mirror that of college campus style dining.

The FTI is an Air Force directive aimed to enhance food quality, variety and availability, while focusing on Airmen’s changing needs, lifestyles and culinary preferences. Additionally, the initiative strives to enhance the sense of base community while improving facilities and efficiency through decreasing operational costs and providing enhanced nutritious meals to maintain Cannon and its war-fighting capabilities.

Renovations for the FTI are scheduled to begin May 1 at the Pecos Trail Dining Facility. During this time, the Drop Zone will re-open to augment eating facilities on the installation. There are also plans to provide a new “Lift Kiosk” on the southeast side of base in early May. The manned food station will provide food, beverages and snacks for purchase.

During the time the DFAC is closed, all unaccompanied dorm airmen with a meal card will receive basic allowance for subsistence. This will continue for the duration of FTI renovations to the facility to subsidize eating costs for junior airmen.

Once the DFAC re-opens, all Air Commandos will be able to use their meal cards at any NAF-operated facility on base; to include the bowling center, golf course and clubs.

Along with this change, anyone with base access will be able to dine at the DFAC; it will no longer be restricted to enlisted Airmen or those members on TDY orders.

“We realize this may seem like a major change scheduled to happen quickly; however, this initiative is all for the betterment of Cannon’s quality of life,” said Maj. David Nuckles, 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron commander. “We are keeping up with our commander’s intent to provide an environment for Airmen and families to thrive. This will promote a community built on cohesion; if families wish to dine together at the new DFAC, they will not be restricted by rank or duty status.”

Officials noted that customer wait times at facilities could become a concern once the FTI is underway.

“And we already have several plans in place to help reduce customer wait times,” Nuckles stated. “An increase of cashier and register stations will also aid in more efficient check-outs.”

“We ask Air Commandos to trust the overall intent in the FTI,” he continued. “This will bring a fresh and modern way of dining offered by our installation. The new and improved menus, variety of eating options and fewer restrictions will continue to help grow Cannon into the premier installation it is already primed to be.”

For more information regarding the FTI, feel free to contact 575-784-2115.