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Minot MAF chefs feed the force

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexander Nottingham
  • 5th Bomb Wing

Missile Alert Facilities (MAF), which can be up to 75 miles away from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, operate with a lone chef that ensures the site has well-fed troops.

Missile Alert Facilities are the heart of the 91st Missile Operations Group’s mission. The Group is composed of three squadrons, each responsible for up to 50 launch facilities. This 24/7 responsibility requires Airmen to be on alert and always ready. It is the goal of the Missile Alert Feeding Operation (MAFO) team to ensure every Airman deployed to a MAF is well-fed and can continue to accomplish their mission.

“MAFO differs from a regular feeding operation at the Dining Facility on base as chefs are deployed out to an isolated site and have to be capable of leading themselves,” said Master Sgt. Brian Brockhoff, 5th Force Support Squadron dining facility section chief.

 Chefs will feed 10 or more Airmen a day, which can be a tall order. Airmen from the 5th Force Support Squadron MAFO ensure MAF site teams are comfortable during their approximately one-week stay in the field. 

“On average I’ll make 36 meals per day, 12 meals per meal period,” said Senior Airman Matthew Chan, 5th Force Support Squadron food service specialist.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes a midnight meal for Airmen who were out late- A chef’s job does not stop until everyone is fed with a warm meal that is made to order.

“From inventory inspections, checking the emergency Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), and required trainings, I can have a lot of responsibilities during the time I'm tripped out,” said Chan.

A chef is in charge of their kitchen space while they are tripped out. A missile chef’s duties at a MAF may include completing and stocking inventory as well as preparing, cooking, and cleaning after each mealtime.

“My mom used to make us fried chicken tenders back home, so to get to make it here for Airmen at the MAF is like bringing a little bit of that joy to the team here,” said Airman 1st Class Oscar Vega, 5th Force Support Squadron food service specialist.

Throughout the Air Force, we see Airmen taking care of each other, MAFO chefs are no different as they ensure Airmen on site are well cared for.

“To receive that thank you for a meal you made and getting to see how that directly affects the morale is one of the most rewarding parts of this job,” said Vega.