News: Lights out April 30
Story by Sgt. Sarah Enos
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash.—The 593rd Sustainment Brigade Eric G. Gibson Memorial Dining Facility, located on the corner of 19th Avenue and D Street, Joint Base Lewis-McChord North, Wash., is scheduled to close April 30.
Currently the Gibson facility serves an average daily headcount of 700, a number too low to keep it open. Therefore the Gibson DFAC will close and merge with 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Lancer Consolidated Dining Facility.
The consolidated DFAC is located in building 11575, 41st Division Drive, between the John D. “Bud” Hawk Education Center and the JBLM-North Shoppette. It originally closed Oct. 10, 2011, because the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan.
Now that the Lancers are back from their deployment, both 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Divison and the 593rd SB DFAC staff plan to re-open and co-operate the consolidated DFAC May 1.
Sgt. 1st Class Anita M. Frazier, DFAC manager, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 593rd SB, previously worked at the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division facility, and said that before Lancer soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, their headcount was about 2,400 a day.
At Gibson, Frazier explained that there will be no boxing up of equipment. The only real preparation for the move is to decrease the current food inventory by using what is on stock.
“When the lights are turned out, the building and equipment will remain the way it is,” Frazier said.
Thomas Tolman, architect in the master planning division within JBLM’s Public Works Directorate, said there have been several proposals regarding the future of the Gibson DFAC, but no definite conclusion has been reached for the fate of the building.
“The decision (future of the Gibson DFAC) will be considered by the facility board within the next couple of months,” Tolman said.
Staff Sgt. Yao Pan, food service training noncommissioned officer, 24th Quartermaster Company, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593rd SB, said he looks forward to moving to the consolidated DFAC.
“I feel excited about the merge because we will have more personnel combined,” Pan said. “We can then offer a larger variety of food and spend more time creating a higher quality meal.”
Pan said that overall a better soldier is created by combing the two brigade DFACs, because there will be more manpower on each shift which will allow more time for soldiers to rotate out for training and attending schools.
Spc. Bryan Compton, motor transport operator, 513th Transportation Company, 13th CSSB, 593rd SB, who resides in the barracks next to the 593rd SB DFAC, has mixed emotions about the merger.
“I’m a meal-card holder and come to the (Gibson) dining facility anywhere from two to three times a day,” Compton said. “This is my favorite dining facility because it’s close and I know the people. But I also like the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division DFAC because it’s larger and I don’t feel cramped there.”
The Lancer Consolidated Dining Facility, which originally opened in 2010, is slated to reopen as a combined facility to support the soldiers of 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Divison and 593rd SB May 1.