JBER dining operations fuel troops amid COVID-19 concerns

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Curt Beach
  • 673d Air Base Wing

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson personnel have incorporated protective measures to ensure essential missions continue.

U.S. Air Force Col. Patricia CsĂ nk, JBER and 673d Air Base Wing commander, declared a Public Health Emergency, March 22, 2020, and directed Health Protection Condition (HPCON) CHARLIE for the foreseeable future. HPCON CHARLIE is defined as an elevated risk of sustained community transmission.

The installation's top priority is preservation of force and mission while protecting the health, safety and welfare of the community.

The Iditarod and Wilderness Inn Dining Facilities continue to operate for mission essential personnel and Airmen and Soldiers who are still continuing military and readiness operations. They are strictly providing to-go options, as dining-in has been suspended indefinitely.

“Even though all of this is going on, we still need the availability to get meals, so having the protective measures in place that allow us to do that are important because of the need for social distancing,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Brittany Bradybugh, 673d Medical Operations Squadron medical technician.

Wilderness Inn payment methods are limited to meal cards or cash. Hours of operation are 7 to 9 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 6:30 p.m. for dinner.

Iditarod is accepting all payment methods. Hours of operation are 6 to 9 a.m. for breakfast, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. for dinner and 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. for midnight meal. During weekends, breakfast hours are reduced to 6 to 8 a.m.

To promote healthy living and reduce spread of contagions, the facilities are incorporating protective measures such as maintaining social distancing, encouraging staff hand-washing every ten minutes, implementing protective barriers, providing hand-sanitizing stations for patrons and conducting frequent facility sanitization.

“Continuing our mission is important because without us many single service members would go without food,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Robert Shorter, 673d Force Support Squadron food service apprentice. “We are in charge of feeding the human weapon systems that are our Airmen and Soldiers who complete the mission, and we will continue to complete our mission, no matter what is thrown at us.”

The Armed Services YMCA of Alaska food pantry is available by appointment only, while force support squadron eateries are closed indefinitely.

For the most up-to-date status of JBER’s facilities and services, visit https://www.jber.jb.mil/Coronavirus/

Those experiencing flu or COVID-19 symptoms should contact the JBER appointment line at 907-580-2778, option 1.