Supporting the Force, Sustainment Flight

By Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Abraham Maslow, psychologist, wrote a paper titled "A Theory of Human Motivation". From that came Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which was later simplified and made into a pyramid with the most important needs as the foundation.

At the foundation of Maslow's pyramid you will find food, shelter and self esteem among a variety of other basic needs.

The 2nd Force Support Squadron's Sustainment Flight provides some of the fundamental needs found at the base of Maslow's pyramid.

"The Sustainment Services Flight is the largest flight in this 600-person squadron," said Lt. Col. Diane Benavidez, 2 FSS Squadron commander. "The Airmen and civilian members of this flight touch most personnel at Barksdale each and every day by providing quality customer service."

Food operations is the key unit that feeds Team Barksdale via the Red River Dining Facility, Touch and Go Flight Kitchen, Stripes Club and the Barksdale Club.

"We feed the entire base, not just dorm Airmen," said Master Sgt. Daniel Absolom, 2 FSS Food Operations section chief. "Anyone with base access is welcome to dine at any of the facilities under food operations."

Airmen in food operations have a huge task at hand to feed an entire base.

"Our job is very important, especially for our flightline Airmen and aircrew because they aren't always able to leave for lunch due to the flying mission," said Absolom. "We make sure the base populace gets fed."

From fruit and salads to grilled chicken and fish, all dining facilities on base offer healthy options for Team Barksdale.

"We offer healthy food so our Airmen can maintain their fit-to-fight warrior mentality," said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Sergot, Food Operations superintendent.

Maintaining a healthy active life style helps an individual's self esteem which is another fundamental need linked to Maslow's pyramid. To keep Airmen's self esteem and physical fitness high, the Sustainment Flight manages the Fitness Center.

Like the dining facilities, anyone with base access can use the Fitness Center.

"We support our patrons by providing them with equipment and knowledge," said Senior Airman Jonathan Crouch, 2 FSS fitness specialist. "We also organize events to keep morale up."

Keeping Airmen physically fit helps them when they deploy.

"Airmen deploy constantly so we have to be ready to go," said Staff Sgt. Alisha Taylor, 2 FSS Facility Manager. "You have to be physically able to accomplish the mission."

The Sustainment Flight also provides another one of Maslow's fundamental needs, shelter, by providing safe lodging for in processing and vacationing Airmen.

"People like the fact that base lodging is secure," said Master Sgt. Victoria Monroe, 2 FSS lodging superintendent. "Our rooms have a lot of space and we guarantee a quality stay. Our standards are higher than most off-base hotels."

The lodging staff provides many of the same services found off base like morning wake up calls, housekeeping and mail services.

"Our staff here at the lodging facility is outstanding," said Jonathan McClinton, 2 FSS lodging operations manager. "We strive for excellence in all we do to provide a professional high quality stay for our guests."

With the Sustainment Flight providing most of the Airmen's fundamental needs, Airmen can focus on the mission.

"We can feed you, we can keep you in shape and if you have comfortable accommodations you can get a better night's sleep," said Monroe. "We're all tied together to support one another so you can be more physically and mentally fit to support the mission."