By Julie M. Lucas

NAS Jacksonville Public Affairs

NAS Jacksonville's galley, the Flight Line Café was recently notified of its seventh consecutive 5-star rating from Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE). NAS Jax will be competing with other galleys for the Capt. Edward F. Ney Memorial Award.

"We've gone up for this award several times, but I'm hoping this will be our year," said NAS Jax Food Service Officer CWO4 Benny Brockington. Brockington arrived at NAS Jax in November to take over the galley. As far as implementing changes, he said he felt the galley was already doing a superb job.

"I'm just trying to help keep everyone positive and reinforce the good things they are doing around here," Brockington said.

"I think a new set of eyes always helps and everyone taking pride in what they do."

An estimated 700 patrons eat food served at the galley daily at NAS Jax. CNRSE sets a 21-day cycle menu for the galleys that can be slightly altered for special meals in accordance with observances or holidays. Some of the special meals this year so far have had themes from low-country boil, Italian or Mongolian barbecue.

"I love when we get a chance to really show the Sailors what we can do and serve up something different," said CS2 Nykil Lawson.

While eating at the galley, you may notice identification tags placed in front of food items. Colors are assigned to items identifying healthier options, such as green for vegetables and red for foods that should be limited. On each table is a chart that breaks down the system.

At the Flight Line Café, a rotation occurs to keep everyone's skills in tune. While some may prefer duties such as cake decorating or baking, all culinary specialists get an opportunity to try their hand at every task so that sections are equally skilled. Some of them even consider using these skills when they leave the Navy.

"It is a dream of mine to open my own bakery someday," said CS2 Tiffany Holt.

While the galley's job is to serve nutritious food to the Sailors, the Flight Line Care takes food outside the galley to the barracks, ensuring that everyone gets fed, even when doing physical training in the morning. Grab-and-Go items such as burritos, sandwiches, yogurt and coffee are available in the barracks.

"This is the best chow I've ever had in the military," said Lance Cpl. Andrew Yu, Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit Jacksonville.

The Flight Line Café employs Goodwill Industries employees to assist in keeping the galley clean. One employee said that she enjoys working with the Sailors.

"I chose to work for Goodwill because I like to support nonprofits, but getting to serve our military is so rewarding to me," said Susan Swoboda.

"Whether I work the morning or evening shift, everyone is so helpful and we all get along well. 

Doors open to civilians during special meals monthly. For $5.55, lunch can be enjoyed by civilians paying with cash or credit card. During Hurricane Matthew, the galley kept running, feeding not only the Sailors but base personnel and family members. 

The Flight Line Café is located on the corner of Saratoga Avenue and Mustin Road in building 855. Hours of operation are breakfast 6-7:30 a.m., lunch 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and dinner 4:30-6 p.m. A Sunday brunch is served 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the Sunday dinner is from 4:30-5:30 p.m. To hear the daily menu call 542-4245.