Photo Information

U.S. Marine Cpl. William Yaporagiles, a food services specialist with Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, slices tomatoes in preparation for evening chow time at Al Taqaddum Air Base, Iraq, Nov. 7, 2015. Yaporagiles spends his days cooking and serving U.S. and coalition forces at Camp Manion in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Owen Kimbrel)

Photo by Sgt. Owen Kimbrel

Task Force TQ cooks keep morale high

23 Nov 2015 | Sgt. Owen Kimbrel I MEF Headquarters Group

Food services Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Central Command-Crisis Response, and soldiers with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, ensure U.S. and coalition forces are well fed at Al Taqaddum Air Base, Iraq, every day.

Serving three meals a day, the U.S. service members allow everyone the opportunity to get their fill and re-energize throughout the day.

“Our job is important because we are the fuel providers. Everybody likes hot chow; it’s a real morale booster,” said U.S. Marine Sgt. Katharine Rombola, a food services chief with Combat Logistics Battalion 1, SPMAGTF-CR-CC.  “Everyone looks forward to those parts of the day, even though it’s the busiest time for us, it’s other’s downtime. It’s their time to relax and enjoy a good meal, and if we can provide the best service to them and keep them happy so they can go out and accomplish their mission, then that’s what we are here for.”

The food service specialists start their day as early as 4 a.m. to ensure the meals are properly prepared and ready for consumption. While diligently working the chow line, they ensure there is ample food for everyone while continuously cleaning dishes and mopping floors to maintain health and safety standards.

With few cooks available on the base, the food service specialists require some help from other units in order to staff a functioning mess hall. Pulling service members from other units to help out allows the kitchen to run smoothly.

“It feels good helping everybody out and helping the base,” said U.S. Army Spc. Hector Moreno, an unmanned aerial vehicle operator with 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Div. “People need food to maintain energy, and in turn, that generates productivity so this is an essential part to accomplishing the mission, and I’m glad I can help.”

The food service members will continue to wake before the sun and toil into the late hours of the night to provide support to U.S. and coalition forces in their day-to-day operations.

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