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SPEK Training Provides immense Results

Senior Airman Matthew Samuelson briefs fellow airmen during a services exercise here at the 161st Air Refueling Wing, Phoenix, May 1, 2010. Providing hands-on experience solidifies the learning process for Services troops preparing them for deployment and emergency situations. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Nicole Enos)

Senior Airman Matthew Samuelson briefs fellow airmen during a services exercise here at the 161st Air Refueling Wing, Phoenix, May 1, 2010. Providing hands-on experience solidifies the learning process for Services troops preparing them for deployment and emergency situations. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Nicole Enos)

Phoenix ANG Base -- No matter where troops deploy they need to eat, and being able to eat a hot meal can make a big difference in the positive morale of Airmen. Providing hot meals to forward-operating servicemembers requires specialized equipment and a well trained team from the Force Support Squadron.

During the May Unit Training Assembly FSS servicemembers from 161st Air Refueling Wing, Phoenix completed readiness training in setting up a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen also known as a SPEK.

"The SPEK is a kitchen that we use in contingency operations for a bare bones type situation ... as they wouldn't have cold food items for about the first 30 days of the deployment," said Staff Sgt. Misty Marie Caudle, FSS services specialist.

The SPEK system is one complete pallet, consisting of a three-section tent, flooring, pot and pan racks, tables and other miscellaneous equipment.

Sergeant Caudle said it takes about five hours to set it up depending on the number of people involved and that the first hot meal can usually be served within nine hours of arrival; serving up to 550 people per meal.

"Training on how to set up a SPEK is important, because if we ever deploy to a bare-bones location we need to know how everything fits together, especially since the box it comes in is part of the kitchen," said Sergeant Caudle.

"Learning how to set up the SPEK has really been a great opportunity because having hands-on experience solidifies the learning process and I know if we were deployed we could easily set it up and be feeding the troops in minimal time," said Sergeant Caudle.