By Airman 1st Class Michelle Brooks, 152nd Airlift Wing
/ Published April 09, 2021
Airman 1st Class Stephany Morales, left, and Senior Airman Anna Ketchum, right, prepare food for dinner meal service during March 2021 drill weekend. The airmen prepare meals in a Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Michelle Brooks).
The 152nd Airlift Wing received a new disaster relief mobile kitchen (DRMK) last week, delivered to the Nevada Air National Guard base here.
According to Senior Master Sgt. David Hill, 152nd Services Superintendent, the mobile kitchen is rated to serve 1,100 meals per meal period.
The mobile kitchen had its test run during March drill weekend, when it was put to operational use for meal periods. The dining facility on base was closed for renovations. However, the DRMK provided the base the ability to prepare and serve hot meals to airmen during drill. The manufacturers of the unit came to Reno for three days to train Force Support Squadron airmen on use of the kitchen in the week leading up to drill.
“There were a few hiccups during drill,” stated Hill, “but just like any new piece of equipment there is time spent learning some of the little things and how to best operate them.”
The DRMK has an onboard generator, allowing it to be operated in various locations. This makes the unit an asset for supporting wildland fires and other natural disasters. In addition, the DRMK can be used for different field exercises.
One of the key factors of the mobile kitchen’s design is its ability to be transported on a C-130. A typical food truck operates on propane. However, the DMRK runs off diesel fuel, allowing it to be transported by aircraft.
Since the DRMK was developed following Hurricane Katrina, these units have supported disaster relief such as hurricanes, wildfires and stateside operations such as Presidential Inaugurations.
The DRMK serves as a deployable asset for missions of the Air National Guard. 152nd Airlift Wing, a force of about 1,100 airmen, has been recently deployed for the presidential inauguration and stateside operations such as aerial wildland firefighting in California during summer and fall 2020.