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Dover AFB’s DFAC named a 5 Star dining facility

Airman 1st Class Iyana Green (left), 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, and Hassan Amenu-el, line cook, ensure they meet their objectives for the morning preparation Sept. 14, 2018, at the Patterson Dining Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The civilians and Airmen have a policy of transparency and communication to improve team efficiency and cohesion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

Airman 1st Class Iyana Green (left), 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, and Hassan Amenu-el, line cook, ensure they meet their objectives for the morning preparation Sept. 14, 2018, at the Patterson Dining Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The civilians and Airmen have a policy of transparency and communication to improve team efficiency and cohesion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

From left, Airman First Class Iyana Green, 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, Hassan Amenu-el, line cook, Shemya Singletary, Sodexo supervisor, and Airman 1st Class Katie Magar, 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, work to prepare lunch Sept. 14, 2018, at the Patterson Dining Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Preparing fresh food each day is one of the practices the DFAC uses to maintain quality standards for the food they serve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

From left, Airman First Class Iyana Green, 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, Hassan Amenu-el, line cook, Shemya Singletary, Sodexo supervisor, and Airman 1st Class Katie Magar, 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, work to prepare lunch Sept. 14, 2018, at the Patterson Dining Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Preparing fresh food each day is one of the practices the DFAC uses to maintain quality standards for the food they serve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

Hassan Amenu-el (front), line cook, and Airman 1st Class Katie Magar, 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, work in tandem to prepare lunch Sept. 14, 2018, at the Patterson Dining Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The combined efforts of Airmen and civilians improve the dining experience for their customers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

Hassan Amenu-el (front), line cook, and Airman 1st Class Katie Magar, 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, work in tandem to prepare lunch Sept. 14, 2018, at the Patterson Dining Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The combined efforts of Airmen and civilians improve the dining experience for their customers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

Pam Marshall (left), line cook, and Airman 1st Class Tayion Perkins, 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, begin preparing pizza’s for the lunch time rush Sept. 14, 2018, at the Patterson Dining Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The combined efforts of Airmen and civilians improve the dining experience for DFAC customers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

Pam Marshall (left), line cook, and Airman 1st Class Tayion Perkins, 436th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, begin preparing pizza’s for the lunch time rush Sept. 14, 2018, at the Patterson Dining Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The combined efforts of Airmen and civilians improve the dining experience for DFAC customers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The Patterson Dining Facility here was recently awarded five stars by its food service provider, Sodexo.

The DFAC completed a “refresh” in which the team is tasked to learn new recipes, new equipment and overall new practices to achieve a higher level of innovation and efficiency in one month, a task they accomplished in just one week.

“Everybody stayed; civilians denied their vacation days and our Airmen said, ‘no, we’re not going to take leave, let’s get this done!,’” said Technical Sgt. William Legette, Food Service Section Chief.

“This sort of team cohesion is what won us this award,” Legette added.

The Patterson Dining Facility was also selected to assist in the creation of official training videos, which are being used at every other dining facility nationwide that will also be taking part in this refresh.

The DFAC staff demonstrated dedication and perseverance by achieving this refresh in the time they did, said Shemya Singletary, Sodexo supervisor. Although the process was difficult and strenuous, we pushed through with each other’s help.

“We definitely keep each other uplifted on days where someone just isn’t feeling it,” Singletary said. “And we do that with simple words of encouragement.”

The process of receiving a new star is a continuous evaluation of efficiency, quality and customer service. In ordinary circumstances, a dining facility can expect to receive one new star in a month’s time. However, because of the outstanding performance of the team here at Dover AFB, the Patterson Dining Facility was awarded three stars in just three weeks’ time.

“I think paying attention to detail is one of the main factors of how we were able to achieve the fifth star in such a short amount of time,” Singletary said.

Receiving this award puts Dover AFB’s dining facility one step closer to securing the Air Force’s Hennessey Award for best DFAC. This annual award is only presented to the top Air Force Dining Facility and is the highest achievement of its kind.