Dining Facility #1 opens doors at new location
Story by Sgt. Ann Venturato
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office
After a ribbon cutting ceremony, dining facility #1opened at its new location on the left side of Pennsylvania Avenue by Sustainer Circle on the morning of April 17.
Dining facility #1 served dinner at the old dining facility on the evening before closing the doors at 8:30 p.m. to start the move of the massive transit of equipment to the new facility, said Master Sgt, Leroy R. Gartrell, Sr., the NCOIC for the new dining facility from the 172nd CSG.
Spc. Dustin Ruyle, a Soldier from the 233rd Military Police Company, cut the ribbon to officially open the facility at 11:15 a.m. Greg Byers, the KBR project manager for LSA Anaconda; Brig. Gen. Oscar Hilman, 81st Brigade Combat Team commander and Col. Darrell Roll, deputy commander for the 13th COSCOM, stood alongside Ruyle to mark the significant event.
"We hope that the opening of this dining facility will help take some of the load off dining facility #4," Gartrell. "We plan to model all the rest of the dining facilities like this one."
Soon after the ceremony, the Soldiers rushed past the doors to enjoy a good meal.
Metal sinks with hot and cold water, hand soap and paper towels mark the entrance way before Soldiers went into the main dining hall where rows of eight person tables with chairs are spread out to provide a comfortable environment.
"It looks good," said Sgt. Antonio Hernandez, a Soldier from the 341st Military Police Company, "It is cool and a lot more spacious."
A menu for the meal was posted for Soldiers to see as they picked up their plate and plastic serving utensils. Soldiers headed to one of the main lines or the fast food lines.
Soldiers were treated to steak and lobster tails, as well as other food items to commemorate the event.
"The food looks good," said Staff Sgt. Ricky Wade, an instructor from Fort Eustis, as he made his way to enjoy his lunch.
The hardened dining facility is similar in design to dining facility # 4, although it looks bigger on the inside
Besides a spacious facility, a large parking lot offers Soldiers plenty of parking room for tactical vehicles.
"I'm going to enjoy the improvements," said Ruyle.
"The dining facility has the capacity to feed approximately 1200 people a day," said Gartrell.
"The building for dining facility #1 is about 99 percent complete," said Gartrell, "We are waiting for the installation of the dishwashers."
By April 19, two offices for Kellogg, Brown and Root and bathrooms should be installed at the dining facility, said Gartrell.
hilman, byers, ruyle and roll at ribbon cutting for defac 1
ssg ricky wade checks out food in line
ssg rudy ramirez takes plate from server