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News | June 1, 2020

Army’s first food truck in Germany opens

By Michael Tuttle DLA Troop Support Europe & Africa

During a meeting of Army food service professionals in September 2019, the senior Army logistician in Europe talked about the need for soldiers to have more dining options in the Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany.

A Defense Logistics Agency customer support representative at the meeting at Ramstein Air Base told Maj. Gen. Christopher Mohan, 21st Theater Sustainment Command commander, that DLA had a solution.

Less than 10 months after Greg Turner, with DLA Troop Support Europe & Africa in Kaiserslautern, spoke up, soldiers can now grab breakfast and lunch from the first Army food truck parked outside the United States.

Army culinary specialists started serving meals from the truck, called the Culinary Outpost, during several openings over the last two weeks at locations throughout U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz.

DLA has worked with the Army to deliver six food trucks to bases in the U.S. The most recent one opened at Fort Hood, Texas ,in February.

VIDEO | 02:11 | Culinary Outpost Food Truck Training

The trucks are meant to reach soldiers who can’t easily get to a dining facility from a training range or the motor pool, Larry Westley, Jr., supervisory logistician with the 405th Army Field Support Brigade Europe and Africa, said.

Culinary specialists with the 55th Quartermaster Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion prepare the food fresh daily and can serve more than 200 meals in a 90-minute meal period. They serve breakfast sandwiches and bowls, traditional quick order meals and four menus for lunch and dinner: Tex-Mex, Asian, Southern and barbeque.

Spc. Nyaka Kpakra was at the food truck opening May 22 at Panzer Kaserne, where he ate chicken teriyaki for lunch.

“It tastes just like what I got from a restaurant,” he said. “This is great, especially for soldiers like myself who don’t have a car.”

The food truck features most of the same equipment that a DFAC has, except an air fryer has been substituted for a grease fryer. DLA Troop Support procured the truck for the Army through the food service equipment program and provides the food through its regional Subsistence prime vendor.

“When I was an Army cook, a food truck like this would have been a game changer,” said Turner, a retired Army food service specialist. “The new food truck keeps us in line with industry and most importantly, enables better support of the warfighter.”

In addition to Panzer Kaserne, the food truck will rotate to Baumholder and Sembach Kaserne. Soldiers can pay for their meals with cash, a meal card, debit or credit card.

“The food truck provides a healthy choice for soldiers,” Lt. Col. Sherdrick Rankin, DLA Troop Support Europe & Africa commander, said. “Instead of them traveling off base to eat at fast food restaurants, now they have a food truck in their back yard.”

Editor's note: Video courtesy of Spc. Elliot Page, 21st Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs Office