By Tech. Sgt. Scott Sturkol
380th Air Expeditionary Wing
SOUTHWEST ASIA (2/9/10) - Airman 1st Class Chaquita Lee has a duty to the Air Force's "most important asset" -- its people. Her job requires her to take care of people in the most essential of ways -- by feeding them.
Lee is a services apprentice with the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. She works as a food safety and quality assurance inspector at "Roy's" Flight Kitchen in the base's "Ops Town" -- the designated area near the flightline for U.S. operations.
To carry out her deployed duties, Airman Lee said some of the tasks she completes are helping unload and stock food from trucks three times a week, build more than 100 flight meals a night for flight crews to have for following day, and serve up to 1,300 meals a day. It's a job, she said, that keeps her busy all the time.
"I also have to check food temperatures hourly during meal periods, perform hourly cooler and warmer temperature checks and ensure dining and kitchen areas are inspected and cleaned every six hours," said Lee, who is deployed from the Mississippi Air National Guard's 172nd Airlift Wing's Services Flight at Jackson.
The 2006 graduate of Murrah High School in her hometown of Jackson, Miss., is required to hold many skills and knowledge to do her job. According to her Air Force specialty job description she has to gain experience in functions such as preparing, cooking, baking, presenting and serving food. She also must know about instructing, coaching, officiating or directing athletic activities and to plan, organize and conduct recreation programs.
"The capabilities a services Airman brings to a deployed base are indispensible," Lee said. "It includes providing everything from meals to morale and we are happy to make each deployed service member's day a little bit better. For me, it's taking care of the feeding of the people in Ops Town every day."
Lee said her decision to join the Air Force through the Air National Guard has been a great decision, and she's been honored to serve for more than two and a half years.
"I love what I do for my country," Lee said. "There is no other way I could see myself helping out so many other people than by serving my country and by deploying. I'm able to see how others are living and really appreciate how much I have to be thankful for as an American."