Westfield, Mass. – A national food services association honored a Massachusetts Air National Guard Squadron for culinary excellence at the Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago May 18, 2009.
The Hennessy Travelers Association selected the 104th Fighter Wing Services Flight Squadron, Massachusetts National Guard, as the top Air National Guard Food Services Squadron in the Nation and the 2009 winner of the Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth W. Disney trophy Food Services Award.
This annual award recognizes the Air National Guard unit that provides the highest quality guest service and food quality while inspiring teamwork and dedication.
The Disney award is named for former food service manager Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Disney, who was tragically killed outside of McGhee Tyson Air Base, Tennessee in 1977. Senior Master Sgt. Disney was known for his innovative approach to advancing military food service into a fine dining experience.
The association is made up of restaurant and tourism professionals from throughout the United States who are committed to developing, sponsoring and promoting educational opportunities for members of the U. S. Armed Forces serving in hospitality assignments. They also provide encouragement, educational opportunities, support and assistance for those members who have an interest in pursuing a career in the hospitality industry upon their departure from military service.
Air Force Col. Robert T. Brooks Jr., 104th Fighter Wing Commander, said, "We are very proud of our services members, they worked extremely hard preparing for this competition. This award is a testament to their dedication and commitment to serve the members of this base.”
This year’s award marks the second time in five years that the team from Barnes has been selected as the top Services Flight in the Air National Guard. Under the leadership of Capt. Ramon Diaz Jr., Chief Master Sgt. Richard Bates, Senior Master Sgt. Richard Baker, Senior Master Sgt. Bill Butman and Master Sgt. Jim Tierney, the team was able to demonstrate for the judges what the “BarneStormer” family has come to expect from the 104th Services Flight – pure excellence.
The association’s evaluation team recognized two individuals with an opportunity to attend a one-week culinary arts course in California, sponsored by the Culinary Institute of America. Along with top chefs from throughout the country, Tech. Sgt. Tanya Sweeney and Staff Sgt. Quincy Cope will learn various aspects of advanced food preparation.
"The teamwork and pride demonstrated by this flight was incredible," said Mr. Jim Krueger, Hennessy Travelers Association Secretary/Treasurer. "We typically do not recognize two members for the culinary art scholarship, but these two shined so brightly," said Krueger.