By Sgt. Keith RogersOctober 31, 2012
FORT CAMPBELL, KY -- An award ceremony was held to present the Forces Command Level 45th Annual Phillip A. Connelly Award to the Soldiers of the 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Oct. 24, outside of the Strike Dining Facility. Strike's 526th BSB, known as Best By Performance, won in the category for Active Army Field Kitchen-Field Feeding Operations, during the Connelly evaluation phase conducted earlier this summer; which tested Team Strike's ability to establish a field kitchen and while providing effective over-watch. Presenting the award was Maj. Gen. John R. "Jack" O'Connor, FORSCOM Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4.
"We take for granted every day when we walk through those lines in the dining facilities, in the field and when we get that warm chow on our plate, but at the end of the day, it's about force protection," said O'Connor. "It's a team effort of food service specialists and everyone who has supported this team to achieve this standard of excellence across Fort Campbell. More importantly, what you represent as a standard bearer now for our army in the world of food service."
Preparations for the event began as far as back February when the location, equipment and staff were selected. The team then constructed to regulation standards an operating field kitchen, a dining facility, a perimeter security and implement a functional plan to feed units efficiently.
"The planning, preparation, training and the setup required calls for continued diligence and motivation in order to be successful," said Staff Sgt. Terrilski Davis, the team leader of the winning Strike unit, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 526th BSB. "As the Soldiers of this team prepared for this competition, their skills and knowledge of preparing quality, nutritious meals were increased by the daily training, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of it all."
The team's mission while in the field entailed many duties and obligations, which encompassed more than just the Soldier chef.
"Each person had different tasks, such as food prep, head count, dishwashing or ensuring the dining hall was clean and well stocked for every war fighter that came through to eat," said Spc. Tamra Leon-Sherman, a medic with BSB's Company C, who was selected to be a part of the team. "We also had Infantry personnel out there with razor wire and pulling 24-hour operations, sometimes in bunkers. It was awesome."
The evaluators grading the competing teams were members of the International Food Service Executives Association, which is a civilian organization that co-sponsors the event with the Department of the Army. After evaluating all the teams throughout FORSCOM, they chose Team Strike as the overall winner.
"This is a team of teams effort," said O'Connor in front of the winning unit. "It starts with the formation that's here and the folks that are encouraging you to be the best of the best; that is going to reign you out on top in the final evaluation."
The next step for Team Strike is the competition at the Dept. of Army level, which has already begun. The end results for this Army level event will be announced mid November.
"On the fifteenth of November, the Department of the Army will come down here to evaluate your performance and I have no doubt that Team Strike, members of the 526, are going to reign as the FORSCOM Food Service Team and wear that badge of honor proudly as you perform your mission each and every day, O'Connor said."