Subsistence employees in Philadelphia have spent the last year conducting market and intelligence research, strategizing with vendors and building new catalogs to bring Army Culinary Outpost Kiosks to life.
The ribbon was cut and soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division funneled through the aisles filled with fresh salads, fruits, vegetables and sandwiches at the Culinary Outpost Kiosk facility at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Feb. 4. The opening marked the successful start of another partnership between the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Subsistence industry partners and the Army’s efforts to modernize its garrison feeding operations.
The Army’s requirement was to stand up these kiosks to offer fresh grab and go options like you find at a convenience store for soldiers who are on base but are away from the dining facilities for training, according to Anthony Brown, a DLA contract specialist. “While working with the Army to determine volume and gain a better understanding of retail or individually packaged products, we decided to reach out to industry and our prime vendors to source the products for the kiosk.”
David Edmondson, a DLA customer service representative, served as the face of DLA at the event and received high praise on behalf of the organization from the leaders of Fort Stewart and the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence on hand for the festivities.
“There was a lot of emphasis placed on this kiosk roll out,” Edmondson said. “It went very well and they had a pretty good turnout. The [leaders] came up to me multiple times, to say thank you to DLA Troop Support for all of the support that they have [received]. They were extremely pleased at the amount of man hours, dedication, devotion and continued support that DLA has provided to get this thing rolling.”
After taking a few minutes to the tour facility, one soldier had nothing but good things to say about the new kiosk.
“I think it’s cool because the kiosk has things that we can get at the ‘shoppette’ but with our meal cards,” said Pfc. Jah-Amor Brito, a culinary specialist with Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “It is something quick so if you don’t have time to sit down at the dining facility you can pick up salads, chips or whatever.”
Based on the current rollout schedule, Fort Carson, Colorado will receive the kiosks in March. In April, Fort Drum, New York will receive them, and Fort Riley, Kansas will receive the kiosks in May.
As the celebration continues over the current victory at Fort Stewart, the Subsistence team is working behind the scenes to ensure the future rollouts are just as successful.
“Moving forward we are still working to try to ensure that we maximize the best contracting methods,” Brown said, “[and] determine the volume for each installation to better engage with our industry partners. And most importantly, ensure that our vendors provide nutritious items that are in accordance with the Army’s Buyer’s Guide and the Department of Defense Nutritional Standards.”