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Trial by fire

The food service team at the Crosswinds Dining Facility prepares lunch for service members at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, July 25, 2019. They work together to ensure new members are properly trained. Augmentees were sent to Nellis to help with the influx of customers during Red Flag and other exercises throughout the year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bryan Magee)

The food service team at the Crosswinds Dining Facility prepares lunch for service members at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, July 25, 2019. They work together to ensure new members are properly trained. Augmentees were sent to Nellis to help with the influx of customers during Red Flag and other exercises throughout the year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bryan Magee)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Business at the Crosswinds Dining Facility increases during Red Flag, and so does the manning to complete the mission. 

Airman 1st Class Riley Farney, 319th Force Support Squadron at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, is one of five Airmen on temporary duty status augmented to 99th Force Support Squadron here during Red Flag 19-3. 

“I’m here for 22 days to support Red Flag,” said Farney. “This is my first time working in food service.” 

The FSS is comprised of various career fields spanning everything from lodging, food services and fitness, to military, civilian and family support. 

Farney has been in the military for a little more than two years and has worked in the fitness center back at Grand Forks the entire time. 

“It’s good coming here and working with new people in a different aspect of my job. They are more than willing to teach me food services,” she said. 

The five additional augmentees are split between Crosswinds and the flight kitchen to ensure the missions continue with no hang ups or delays. 

“Augmentees are important during the exercises, they help offset the additional bodies we feed,” said Master Sgt. Alvester Johnson, 99th FSS dining facility manager. “We work from a ratio of one cook to every fifty patrons, so the number of personnel participating (in the exercise) dictates the number of augmentees we receive.” 

The activity on Nellis is definitely different compared to Grand Forks, states Farney. 

“I feel like it is busier here than at Grand Forks; the pace on Nellis is more rapid,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to work outside my normal day-to-day job and learn another area of my career field while experiencing a new location and meeting new people. Every Airman should get this opportunity.”