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Refueling the fight begins with Airmen

Senior Airman Kelsea Endsley, 22nd Force Support Squadron food services journeyman, prepares breakfast at the Chisholm Trail Inn, April 14, 2016. Endsley recently became a shift leader in the dining facility and now leads breakfast and lunch operations to help keep Airmen fit to fight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Erin McClellan)

Senior Airman Kelsea Endsley, 22nd Force Support Squadron food services journeyman, prepares breakfast at the Chisholm Trail Inn, April 14, 2016. Endsley recently became a shift leader in the dining facility and now leads breakfast and lunch operations to help keep Airmen fit to fight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Erin McClellan)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The 22nd Air Refueling Wing's mission is to refuel the fight; but before that can be done, the Airmen here need to be refueled as well.

Senior Airman Kelsea Endsley, 22nd Force Support Squadron food services journeyman, helps refuel those Airmen.

Endsley became a shift leader in the dining facility at the beginning of April and now leads breakfast and lunch operations.

"I [thought] she had the potential to be a shift leader," said Tech. Sgt. Faeisha Knox, 22nd FSS food services section chief and Endsley's supervisor. "I felt like it was time that she stepped up to the challenge of performing as an NCO."

Endsley works the second shift of the day. When she gets to work at 4:30 a.m., she makes sure all the food is prepared correctly and is up to temperature. She also checks that everything is clean and set up properly so there are no problems during the meal.

"She supervises her shift," said Knox. "Usually she'll have anywhere from two to three Airmen under her, and she'll ensure the meals are prepped, the Airmen are where they're supposed to be, the meals go out on time and we are in line with the contract we have with the civilians [who] work with us," said Knox.

Endsley said she assigns different duties to each Airman because there are a lot of different tasks that need to be completed, such as cooking on the grill, checking the temperature of the food on the line and assisting the civilian cooks.

"Normally, there are two or three people on shift with me, they all get a role during the meal," said Endsley.

Even though she has many duties, Endsley enjoys cooking the most and said she puts a lot of effort into making food that tastes good.

"My favorite part [of my job] would be actually making the food and seeing people eat it," said Endsley. "I like to cook and see people's reactions to the food I made."

In her new role, Endsley is also required to supervise and train the other Airmen who work with her.

"I'm the shift leader, so whenever something doesn't go right they come to me," said Endsley. "I have to make sure the Airmen know what they're doing, why they're doing it and make sure they're doing it properly."
Although Endsley has only been a shift leader for a short amount of time, she has taken all the challenges in stride. Knox said she thinks Endsley has performed well and seems to be learning more about what it means to be in a supervisory role every day.

"I wouldn't have put her there if I didn't think she was going to do a great job," said Knox.

Because of food services and Endsley's role in the dining facility, Airmen maintain readiness to complete the mission.

"We refuel [the Airmen]," said Endsley. "We give them their food for the day so they can do their jobs properly. We're one little piece of the big picture."