JBER Iditarod dining facility to undergo $1.3 million renovation

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Johnny Diaz
  • 673d ABW Public Affairs

The Iditarod Dining Facility on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska will be closing for renovation starting in January of 2024.

Funding of $1.3 million will be invested into overhauling the dining facility in order to continue serving quality meals to service members and their families here.

The six-month renovation project, slated to wrap up next summer, will focus not only on replacing and upgrading kitchen operations such as drainage, flooring and piping, but also adding new counters and cabinets in the serving area. Additionally, the Provisions on Demand flight kitchen, or POD, is also scheduled to undergo construction later in 2024.

“I’m really proud of our team for coming together and securing the funds to make these much-needed renovations to Iditarod,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Olivia Korte, 673d Force Support Squadron commander. “We strive to provide a quality experience to our customers, and I’m confident the $1.3 million we’re putting back into this DFAC will help us do that for years to come.”

The last major renovation to the Iditarod was in 2011, roughly 12 years ago. Since then, no other large-scale improvements have been made to the dining facility.

“This renovation has been needed for a long time, and we’re looking forward to seeing what it can do for our customers who rely on Iditarod DFAC,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Erik Dunn, 673d Mission Support Group commander. “We understand this will impact our food operations and Airmen, but we hope they see these impacts as temporary and know that the end result will deliver a better dining experience.”

During the Iditarod DFAC closure, roughly 500 Airmen will be affected. Members on essential station messing (ESM) or on meal cards will automatically receive basic allowance for sustenance (BAS) without meal deductions and the off-base Cost of Living Allowance rate to compensate for the loss of access.

Meal deductions are scheduled to stop the day before the Iditarod closure in January 2024 and will resume upon the reopening in July of 2024.

“We want to minimize the impact of this renovation on our Airmen who rely on the Iditarod DFAC for their nutrition, and we value their patience and understanding,” said Korte.