155th FSS trains on new E-SPEK

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexander Schriner

LINCOLN, Neb. – Airmen from the 155th Air Refueling Wing’s force support squadron completed a training program on the latest Expandable Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen on Sept. 19-21, 2023.

This hands-on training focused on the setup and maintenance of the E-SPEK and honed Airmen's skills in rapidly deploying and dismantling the kitchen that is used for disaster response and contingency operations.

“We were one of the first of 22 bases to train on the newest E-SPEK,” said Master Sgt. Rusty Zortman, 155th FSS unit training manager. “This helps us set up and have hot meals within an hour with the capacity to serve over 500 people.”

Able to be transported by helicopter or cargo jets, the E-SPEK represents a mobile and compact kitchen system engineered to deliver hot meals in demanding operational environments.

Zortman explained how the newest model compared to the old version.

“The old version could take up to three hours to set up with a team of eight,” Zortman said. “Whereas the new model only takes around 30 minutes to set up with a team of six people, saving time and manpower. We can make turkey and everything else you normally make in a kitchen on this E-SPEK as well.”

E-SPEK training promotes close collaboration among Airmen, enabling them to understand all facets of the equipment

“It’s important Airmen be familiar with the E-SPEK because it’s the next step for the Air Force specifically in food service,” said Dave Baker, E-SPEK trainer for Babington Technology. “This modernization better prepares Airmen to readily provide food service for Airmen in any type of environment.”

The next step will be to set up a training schedule for the rest of the services unit, said Zortman.

“This will be able to be implemented once everyone is trained on it. Then we can list it as an asset to use for the state of Nebraska,” Zortman said. “We will then be able to respond to any state or national crisis and feed our people.”

Zortman emphasized how this new equipment will support the 155th ARW’s mission.

“The E-SPEK will be an inspectable item and we’ll be able to use this for upcoming exercises,” Zortman said. “With members fully trained on it, we will be ready for all future operations.”
The time differential is the biggest key difference with how this E-SPEK will impact the overall mission said Zortman.

“It can be ready for transport, sent to a location and be up running serving people within a couple hours,” Zortman said. “This demonstrates our versatility and readiness to respond at a moments notice for the state and country.”