USAFE’s first Campus Dining Program at Incirlik AB – More choices, more convenient

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman David D. McLoney
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Türkiye – The 39th Force Support Squadron (FSS) opened the Campus Style Dining Program to new locations on August 31, 2022, at Incirlik Air Base (AB), Turkey in an effort to provide Airmen using the meal card program a greater variety of food choices on the installation.

“Campus Style Dining is a program managed by Air Force Services Center that allows permanent party active-duty Air Force members not on Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) to use their Essential Station Messing (ESM) entitlements at participating Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) food and beverage operations,” said Capt. Brittany Brown, 39th FSS Sustainment Services Flight commander. “Campus Dining works at our Big City Diner, American Roadhouse Grill, and Lakeside Café dining facilities and still have the option to dine at our Air Force Dining Facilities, the Sultan's Inn and Patriot Café.” 

Having options with the Campus Style Dining program provides new opportunities for Airmen by supporting their ability to dine through the meal card program at more locations than just the Air Force Dining Facilities. However, adding new options was not the only benefit that resulted because of this program.

“As an added bonus for all our Incirlik Airmen, it modernized the Sultan's Inn and Patriot Café payment system to include credit or debit card charge processing and touchless pay options, whereas previously these facilities could only accept cash,” said Sally Truhite, 39th FSS Consolidated Club manager.

By modernizing more locations on Incirlik AB, the Campus Style Dining program has made it more convenient for Airmen to eat and enjoy the time they have on the installation. There is always a chance of issues arising with a new program, so the 39th FSS is using feedback to improve aspects of the program in any way possible to ensure a better experience for everyone.

“Campus dining at Incirlik AB is currently live and we've been receiving very positive feedback from our customer base,” said Truhite. “We are currently working through perfecting this new system, and looking at our ESM menus at participating facilities to see if there are any improvements we can make there. We are also looking into the possibilities of expanding these entitlements since Incirlik is such a unique location.”

By implementing the program, Incirlik AB is helping pave the way for overseas locations to adopt this program quickly and efficiently. The Air Force is working on expanding the program in 2025.

The Campus Style Dining Program was introduced in 2011 and has been established at many bases since then, granting options for Air Force personnel and enabling a more diverse lifestyle even in remote bases.

“Personally, I wish I had this growing up in the Air Force,” said Brown. “When you do the math, ESM Airmen are receiving about $1.7K a month with CDS compared to the traditional BAS monthly rate of about $406. I also appreciate the fact that it doesn’t replace the Dining Facility, it adds value to it by providing innovative payment solutions for our airmen.