News>Dining facility ramps up efforts to support relief workers
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Staff Sgt. Vernon Rogers, 374th Force Support Squadron augmentee from Andersen Air Base, Guam, stores canned items in the Samurai Cafe, March 23, 2011. Due to the influx of temporary deployed military personnel here to support Operation Tomodachi, the Samurai has increased work hours and food supply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Samurai Cafe offers diners a variety of foods like fruit to ensure that they are fit to fight. A balanced meal is vital in times of high ops tempo, such as Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airman 1st Class Mario Acevedo prepares vegetables for lunch March 21, 2011. Airmen working at the Samurai Cafe have gone from serving 800 to 2,000 meals, this is due to the influx of people deployed to Yokota Air Base in support of Operation Tomodachi. Airman Acevedo is a member of the 374th Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- A food services technician prepares individual servings of watermelon at the Samurai Cafe, Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 23, 2011.The Samurai Cafe has increased meal servings from 800-2,000 due to an influx of people deployed to Yokota in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airman 1st Class Marcus Freeman serves food at the Samurai Caf?, Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 23, 2011. Airman Freeman is an augmentee from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska that is temporarily deployed to Yokota in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Tech Sgt. Renee Crisostomo, an augmentee helping with Operation Tomodachi relief efforts, enjoys a meal at the Samurai Cafe. March 23, 2011. An influx of military personnel are temporarily assigned to Yokota in support of Operation Tomodachi. The Samurai Cafe has extended meal times for the duration of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
by Amn. John D. Partlow
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
3/29/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Many Yokota Airmen and visiting military members have been working around the clock since the start of Operation Tomodachi, and personnel from the Samurai Café Dining Facility are doing their part to ensure these workers stay healthy and satisfied.
Since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit the coast of Japan March 11, the dining facility has taken steps to accommodate their needs and busy schedules.
"We received five temporary duty personnel from Guam to augment our efforts," said Staff Sgt. Luis Capilla, 374th Force Support Squadron shift manager. "The Japanese Nationals working here have helped out by staying late if they have to, and everybody is pitching in."
Since the disaster, the daily headcount for people eating at the dining facility has more than doubled. To compensate for this, the Samurai Café changed many of its operations.
"We've extended out hours, we're cooking a lot more food daily, and we're serving so much more compared to what we normally would," said Sergeant Capilla.
TDY members working at Yokota are impressed with how the dining facility has handled the increase in mouths to feed.
"It's fast, it's convenient, the food is really good, and I like the set price," said Tech. Sgt. Yasmine Redmond, a TDY member from the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the NCO in charge of passenger travel at Kadena Air Base, Japan. "The workers here are doing an excellent job, and their customer service is second to none. They're fantastic, friendly, and when you ask questions they have an answer. In my 19 ½ years in the Air Force, it's one of the better dining facilities I've eaten at."
The servicemembers working in the chow hall will continue to serve where they are needed, for as long as they are needed. They understand their role in Operation Tomodachi and go above and beyond not only to serve their customers but also to please them.
"It'd be great to be out there helping the relief effort, but at the same time, we're here feeding the people that are doing just that, so it's very satisfying," said Sergeant Capilla. "We're keeping our quality of food up, and we're just trying to keep them happy."