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NEWS | Sept. 13, 2017

Hungry, why wait? Raptor Café has what you need

By Airman 1st Class Anthony Nin Leclerec 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In order to maintain control of their air space, birds of prey need to eat to stay healthy. The same is true for Joint Base Langley-Eustis F-22 Raptors; it takes a team to maintain air dominance and JBLE’s Raptor Café aims to make it easier for the Raptor team to have a quick meal between flight line operations.  

“The flight kitchen keeps us from pulling our Airmen off the flight line, which keeps our planes in the air,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William Olwig, 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit support section chief. “Our Airmen can have a hot-nutritious meal without leaving the area, thanks to the Raptor Café; especially for the Airmen that live in the dorms and can’t bring a cooked meal from home.”

A variety of meal options are offered on a 21-day rotating menu for Airmen who wish to dine-in; these meals include main entrees, a self-serve wrap bar, sandwich specials, soup and salad options, and desserts.

Its location next to the flight line also makes it ideal for supporting the dining needs of pilots, maintainers and other flight line support personnel. That being said, where the Raptor Café truly excels is in its understanding and flexibility with the needs of flight line personnel.

“Pilots and maintainers are very hard workers and work long hours,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Zachary Heber, 633rd Force Support Squadron Raptor Café storeroom manager. “Sometimes a supervisor or a first sergeant will call, telling us that a plane needs a lot of work and the maintainers can’t make it. So we keep grab and go meals, and flight meals available after lunch hours, for those who didn’t get the chance to make our lunch hours.”

Along with providing meal service on the flight line, the café also ensures that warfighters heading to contingency, humanitarian or other missions are energized with quick and on-the-go sustenance including boxed lunches during their long flights.

“We make it possible for those Airmen to have the nutrition they need to keep the mission moving forward,” said Heber. “At the end of the day, every meal feeds the overarching mission to fly, fight and win.”