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NEWS | Aug. 24, 2018

Services bring mission into perSPEKtive

By Airman Ariel Owings Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

The 87th Force Support Squadron conducted a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen training exercise during a home station readiness training here, August 17.

The SPEK is a mobile kitchen that can be setup within two hours by eight people, powered by a two kilowatt generator and used in a deployed, underdeveloped environment.

“This is the type of setup that can go anywhere because it only requires one pallet position on any aircraft and it can even be dropped,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kendra Wysocki, 87th FSS installation dining facility contracting officer representative. “All you really need to operate is the [unit group rations], fuel and water.”

There are 11 blocks of training each Airman must complete for the training. It’s a requirement for the services career field to perform some type of shelter setup such as a SPEK or small shelter system, or “Triple S”, every 18 months.

The SPEK is designed to feed up to 550 individuals over the course of 30 days. It’s meant as a temporary kitchen until normal food operations are setup and running.

“You can only eat [Meals, Ready to Eat] for every meal for so long,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Gonzalez, 87th FSS readiness and plans NCO in charge. “The goal is to be serving two hot meals per day. By day four [after set-up], we should be kicking hot meals off the SPEK.”

Gonzalez said not every base has a SPEK; those that do don’t always train with it, making Joint Base MDL unique in its home station readiness training.

Military installations are training with the Triple S systems more often. The Triple S uses electricity for all parts of its system. In a deployed environment or critical position, there is not always access to electricity. The SPEK can run off a mobile generator and any kind of nearby water source, making it a more practical solution for a temporary situation.

“They will never do away with [the SPEK],” said Wysocki. “We need something that can deploy anywhere and feed everyone. It’s something that is used when there’s a natural disaster or humanitarian effort, and it’s very important to keep our military members trained up on it just in case.”