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The 168th refuels with Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey
  • 168th Wing

The 168th Wing refuels in several ways when it comes to responding to emergencies. A Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen Trailer was delivered to the KC-135 Stratotanker flying unit, and the 168th Force Support Squadron, Services Sustainment Flight, are training and preparing on it in the event of an emergency disaster in the Arctic and Pacific regions.
One unique piece of the Force Support Squadron’s mission is to keep people fed and refueled for the mission. The Airmen of the 168th Services are refueling with meals to sustain their fellow Guard members, agency partners, and community in times of need during emergency relief situations.

The Airmen of the 168th Wing Services recently refueled their fellow Guard members during a lunch as part of their training to become familiar with their domestic operations DMRKT asset to the mission. 

"The training is allowing me to be ready to set up and familiar with all the operations of the mobile kitchen," said Airman Shannon Holand. "The training was excellent because it provided us hands-on training and step-by-step operations of the mechanical systems."  

The DMRKT is designed to support first responders during domestic operations and disaster emergency relief missions. The Services flight Airmen are able to provide food rapidly to those who are hungry, both the emergency crews and those affected. The DRMKT has been used in several hurricane relief efforts.   

“During Hurricane Katrina, a thousand folks were fed in ninety minutes,” said Bill Hague, retired Lt. Col. United States Marine Corps, and Babington Technology representative who trains selected Air National Guard units as DMRKTs are delivered to the units. “The workflow is designed for efficient setup and shutdown procedures to feed those in need quickly.”

Hague explained, “We developed the Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen Trailer to solve many of the inefficiencies we observed in our Nation’s response to Hurricane Katrina. It’s readily deployable, mobile, and ready for C-130 transport, built to be pulled by a standard heavy-duty pickup. In accordance with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy initiatives, the DRMKT is the most energy-efficient field kitchen.”

The 168th trained on the new emergency response capability to efficiently respond to the needs of their community, state and nation. The DRMKT is fully loaded with double-door convection ovens that accommodate six commercial pans, a griddle with dial-in surface griddle, three-sink sanitation system, also serves as secondary tray ration heater, 110-gallon water holding tank, tray ration heating system, 50-gallon potable water tank with 25-gallon reserve, insulated and heated food storage and combustion burner and exhaust system that eliminates hot and uncomfortable cooking environments.

 “The DRMKT provides us with the remote capabilities we need to include generator and water sources,” said Tech. Sgt. JeanPaul Williams, 168th Services Superintendent. “We are always training, and with this new DRMKT, we are even more prepared to respond when called upon.”

The services Airmen will maintain proficiency by frequently training and providing meals during field mission readiness training and community events such as the Veteran’s Standdown Day in Fairbanks. These opportunities to serve and provide training opportunities for Airmen to be prepared in times of emergencies.

The 168th Wing serves in support of the Homeland Emergency Response Force and community and state interagency partners in the event of an emergency disaster. The 168th may be called upon in times of global crisis by the President. When local disasters strike, a state governor may activate Air Guard units to protect American citizens' lives.