Story and photo by Spc. Chalon Hutson
301st Public Affairs Detachment
CAMP HIGASHI-CHITOSE, Japan – During the annual bilateral exercise known as Yama Sakura 65, the sheer number of American participants requires a vast number of meals. That is why soldiers from eight Army Reserve units are conducting their annual training at Camp Higashi-Chitose, Japan.
Soldiers from these several units have come together to form the food service element of Logistical Task Force 35, with the task of feeding nearly 1,500 service members. Maj. Christopher Husing from the 328th Combat Support Hospital, from Sacramento, Calif., has the challenge of leading a team of Soldiers from 8 different units to operate effectively and efficiently in a single kitchen.
The dining facility that these cooks are using is a Japanese facility. This makes some adjustment necessary for the American cooks during Yama Sakura 65. For example, some labels on their equipment are written only in Japanese. This is why Spc. Cedrick Ghant-David, an active duty cook at Camp Zama, Japan, was brought in to assist.
“This is my first time working with Reserve Soldiers,” Ghant-David said. “I have helped get them comfortable on the equipment, so we can put out a quality product.”
“Our mission is to feed the Soldiers, provide them with a quality meal, and get the food out there on time; make sure that the food is good for them,” Ghant-David said. “Our job is important to the mission. Everybody loves to eat.”
In addition to the importance of the mission, the opportunity has helped these Reservists improve their job skills.
“Yama Sakura 65 is awesome,” said Spc. Vianca Duque, a cook, who said this training benefitted her as a Soldier. “It’s been a really fun experience now. As a reservist this is a great experience. It is fast pace and we are able to learn a lot.”