Grafenwöhr soldiers getting a new place to eat
Stars and Stripes August 25, 2006
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — A $9.7 million dining facility here will feed breakfast, lunch and dinner to up to 1,800 soldiers each day — three times as many as the existing chow hall.
Contractors recently turned over the facility to the Army, but it will not open until more soldiers arrive at the base, Efficient Basing Grafenwöhr spokeswoman Susanne Bartsch said.
“Our best projection is that it will open some time next spring or summer,” Ken Stark, Grafenwöhr’s director of logistics, said during a tour of the chow hall last Friday.
The new facility incorporates 1,100 square meters (nearly 12,000 square feet) of floor space from the old Main Post dining facility. Another 2,100 square meters (more than 22,600 square feet) have been added to create a chow hall three times as large as the place where garrison workers eat now – the 7th Army Non Commissioned Officer Academy DFAC at Camp Normandy, he said.
“It (the new facility) is the basic army standard dining facility. The design was approved by the Fort Lee Army Center of Excellence for Subsistence that oversees DFACs worldwide,” Stark said.
Grafenwöhr food operations officer, Sabrina Paige, said the new facility has everything food workers could want or need.
“It’s going to be a great place to work because of the state-of-the-art equipment and the design. It has a lot of things that are not found in older facilities that make it easier for the staff,” she said.
For example, the kitchen includes plenty of electronic and computerized equipment such as “combi” ovens able to steam, bake and roast. The DFAC also features a separate short-order kitchen and large spaces for dish-washing, storage and offices, she said.
The areas where customers eat have an “Americana” theme with large posters depicting views of Las Vegas, Route 66 and Washington, D.C. The furniture, which is already installed, includes modern, contoured wooden chairs and tables.
The dining hall also features floor-to-ceiling windows with light sensitive blinds that automatically adjust to the position of the sun in the sky, Paige said.
The DFAC will serve standard Army menus including a main line with at least two selections and a short-order line. Exact menus will be up to the manager, she said.
The DFAC will eventually employ up to 60, mostly civilian, staff although some soldiers also will work there, including soldiers from units training at Grafenwöhr, Stark said.
Staff from DFACs that are closing or downsizing at other bases in Europe will be offered the chance to move to Grafenwöhr before jobs at the new chow hall are advertised, he said.