This following below is a verified copy of an official Army minutes of a mess hall meeting. It describes the minutes of a meeting about the mess hall at one of the REMF's bases. This is what is happening in Iraq at all the various main bases for REMF's. Watch for the part about the lobster tails.
For those of you who don't know military acronymns it is the front-line grunts shortname for Rear Area M***** F*****'s. These types have been around ever since Alexander the Great fielded an army. These people never do any fighting, live in cushy quarters and get great meals and recreational activities the front line soldiers only dream about before going on their next patrol.
The sad part is this letter surfaced at the same time an army unit on a patrol ran into an IED situation and needed a medevac chopper to rescue a severly injured soldier. This was denied by the same people at the camp where the minutes of the meeting took place. The soldiers had to hump it back to the base with their wounded.
Get the soldiers out of Iraq - Now!!! - While they are still alive and in one piece.
This short paragraph is about another marine unit who couldn't get a medevac either thanks to REMF's.
Abandoned Within 3 Clicks
In regards to recent article on MEDEVAC's denied for the killing fields. Please be advised that I and a entire platoon witnessed this first hand when 4 Marines were killed less than 3 clicks from Abu Ghraib prison gate. We sat by and listened as they called for help. We were ready to go and assist, but the active component refused to send us. As it was told to me by their 1stSgt, one Marine was not killed instantly and stood a chance, if MEDEVAC'd in a timely fashion. Instead the Marines had to walk back under fire. It took 2-plus hours to limp back with their dead and wounded. I will forever remember that night, it was truly shameful. - National Guard Grunt with a Ranger tab
Here's the Mess Hall Minutes Meeting: Remember watch for the part about the lobster tails.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
TASK FORCE ADLER - 22D SIGNAL BRIGADE
CAMP VICTORY, IRAQ
APO AE 09342
AETV-SBH-DFAC 17 May 2006
MEMORANDUM FOR RECORD
1. Board Members were as follows:
ATTENDEES UNIT: Editor: Names Removed
2. Personnel attending the Advisory Council meeting were as follows:
ATTENDEES UNIT: Editor: Names Removed
3. The meeting was opened at 1500hrs on 12 May 2006.
Introduction: SFC W. opens the meeting by handing out suggestions cards that we had previously received from various customers in the past. She explained that the advisory council meeting is to encourage customer feedback, to advise management on desired adjustment to the menu to meet diner preferences or services that will provide a more effective food service program to the soldier/diner.
SFC W. opens the floor for suggestions, comments and concerns:
QUESTION: SGT R.: Why does the DFAC not provide bottled water in the coolers?
RESPONSE: SFC W.: With the new water plant open, we will be trying to provide such a service. However, the military personnel at the dining facility would be responsible for coordinating such an effort.
QUESTION: SPC R.: Asked if the dining facility could provide Belgium waffles, waffle cones, and more variety of ice-cream flavors.
RESPONSE: MR. L.: Explained that KBR is restricted by what they can order from the vendor’s catalog, but stated that they do strive to provide a constant variety. These changes do take time to implement. We must take into consideration, the ordering/delivering time.
QUESTIONS: LTC M.: Compliments the facility as one of the best he has ever seen. He expressed that when he and his soldiers have requested changes, they have been met: larger cups, onion and pineapples on the stir fry bar. He requested better Pita bread for the Gyros; the current ones tasted bad and fall apart too easily. LTC M. also requested chicken liver and asked if we could discontinue the live band performances. He considered the band to be too loud, and suggested that this may be the wrong forum for it.
RESPONSE: SFC W.: We thank you for your comment and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
QUESTION: Requests Rye bread, bigger taco shells, and Jell-O without fruit or anything in it. He also stated that the salt and pepper shakers did not dispense enough salt and pepper and many soldiers would need to unscrew the top off to get enough.
RESPONSE: SFC W.: explains that the shakers have just recently been purchased and that in order to get better ones, the military would have to provide funds to replace the existing salt and pepper shakers.
QUESTION: Asked about the flies in the DFAC and on the salad bar.
RESPONSE: MR L. stated that the DFAC is aware of the problem and recently did a survey on how to minimize the fly problem. However, he warned that the fly issue is a difficult problem to contain completely.
RESPONSE: MSG I.M.: Vector Control has already implemented control measures: fly traps, fly blowers above the doors, as well as others.
QUESTIONS: LTC M. expressed that the serving portions are too large.
RESPONSE: MR. L. states that they do train the servers on serving sizes; however there is a language barrier issue with training the servers.
RESPONSE: SFC W.: The servers are briefed everyday on this issue. It is also put out that a diner should be specific on what he or she wants when at the serving line. The servers are very accommodating towards the diners needs.
QUESTIONS: LTC M. informs the panel that the soap dispensers are unserviceable and they have the wrong soap in them.
RESPONSE: MR. L. states that the new dispensers are on order and that the soap currently used is the right soap for hand-washing.
QUESTIONS: PFC P.: Is it possible to have the DFAC hours changed from opening at 0530 in the morning to 0600hrs.
RESPONSE: CSM H.: The hours are set for the entire camp. They are set to give diners ample time to get food during each meal. It is also so that the Dining Facility will have ample time in between the meals to clean and prepare for the next meal.
STATEMENT: PFC P.: The music in the dining facility is too loud. The soldiers cannot hear the televisions. I also would like to request more variety of fruit, with an emphasis on strawberries.
RESPONSE: SFC W.: The music issue will be addressed.
RESPONSE: MR. L. replies that travel time limits the type of fruit they can serve. We also can only order items that are available on the catalog.
QUESTIONS: SGT J. requests Spanish Flan and more exits during the lunch time hours as it is too crowded during that time for the one current exit.
RESPONSE: MR. L.: Flan is available almost daily.
RESPONSE: SFC W.: There are many soldiers that are traveling from other camps to this dining facility. From a Force Protection point of view, this controls the flow and direction of traffic in the dining facility.
STATEMENT: There is an inquiry into the size of the bike area, complements on the band and on the portion sizes.
RESPONSES: CSM H. replies that the bike area could possibly be expanded but there is a problem with a few bikes being abandoned there. If you know of anyone that claims this area as storage, please inform them to come and claim their bike.
QUESTIONS: SGT S.: Why does the DFAC only let the Contractors/Civilians get only one to-go tray, while military gets three.
RESPONSE: SFC W.: The three To-Go trays is the absolute limit and the policy is not strictly enforced, but there is a policy out there that states that civilians are authorized to dine-in and take-out only one To-Go tray. For all customers, a written memorandum is required in order to take more than three trays. The restrictions are in place to keep the headcount accurate.
RESPONSE: MR. L.: Each meal costs about 50 to 60 thousand dollars. KBR supports, but tries to control the cost of the meal while providing whatever they can to help morale. The DFAC gets it’s funding by a per patron rate. $17.70 a day per patron: (BRK: $3.54 per patron, LUN: $7.08 per patron, DIN: $7.08 per patron)
QUESTIONS: SPC R.: This is for CSM H. What is the policy on having your weapon?
RESPONSE: CSM H.: MNC-I policy requires a weapon on you at all times, except when conducting PT. The guards have been instructed to turn away anyone who does not have their weapon.
QUESTION: SPC R.: If someone comes to the dining facility with a sweaty PT uniform, will they be turned away?
RESPONSE: (UPDATE since meeting) Mayor Cell: No one will be allowed to enter the dining facility in a sweaty PT uniform.
QUESTION: LTC M.: Why not use the Air Force to fly fresh fruit and vegetables to the base.
RESPONSE: CSM H.: At this time this is not feasible.
QUESTION: SGM A.: Can the lobster tails be cut in half?
RESPONSE: MR. L.: Due to the lack of proper equipment, this is not possible.
QUESTION: LTC M.: How often are the council meetings conducted?
RESPONSE: SFC W.: The council meetings will be conducted monthly.
STATEMENT: SFC W.: Each dining table has a customer feedback sheet. Do not wait until these meetings to provide your feedback. Each one of the comment sheets is read by management, however; keep in mind that some requests take time.
STATEMENT: SFC W. takes the time to read some policies concerning the dining facility:
-The “No Bags” policy means just that. No Bags carried in or out of the dining facility. Do not carry bags inside the dining facility in your pockets. You will not be allowed to carry bags of items outside of the dining facility. You will be stopped.
-We have a limit 2 items that may be carried outside of the dining facility. Limits are to ensure that the dining facility maintains an 8 to 12 day supply as convoys (Class I trucks) do not always make it to the base when scheduled.
-The dining facility must be cleared 30 minutes after each meal. Not 35 or 40 minutes but 30 minutes.
SFC W. proceeds to inform the council of the Special Meal Request Policy:
-Special Meals Request is being abused. A special meal request will not be used for personal BBQ’s.
The DFAC is limited to how many requests that can be supported in a day. When the limit has been met, we will not take anymore requests. This affects the normal operation when the focus becomes what’s going out the back door versus what is prepared for the diners. All units need to be proactive in their planning.
-Beverage request are to be utilized only for warming and cooling beverages. These items are to be used by personnel going on convoys or special missions.
4. The Advisory Council meeting was adjourned at 1615hrs. The next council meeting will be held on 23 June 06.
W. SFC, USA
Senior Food Operation Sergeant