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NSA Bahrain’s Blue Jacket Bistro wins second Ney award for food service

14 March 2024

From MC2 Macadam Weissman, NSA Bahrain Public Affairs

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain’s Bluejacket Bistro was recognized as the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award (Ney) winner for outstanding food service excellence in the overseas general mess category for fiscal year (FY) 2024, March 8.

This is the second Ney Award for the Bahrain Bluejacket Bistro since its opening in 2018. Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT) nominated Blue Jacket Bistro to represent after receiving the highest score during Commander, Navy Installations Command’s five-star accreditation assessment.

“The first Ney award we achieved in FY-22 was during the COVID period and our inspection was done virtually.” said Arnie Limon, NSA Bahrain’s Bluejacket Bistro’s food service officer. “This time, it was an actual inspection and evaluation. We have great support from the [EURAFCENT] program director’s office, and that helped us prepare for the inspection day.”

The Bluejacket Bistro team competed against all other dining facilities in the overseas category. The yearly Ney competition challenges all competitors to maintain the highest level of excellence in safety, sanitation, administration, management and service.

“I believe our team was able to win a second time is because we have always had high standards.” said John Henton, NSA Bahrain’s Bluejacket Bistro senior food service manager. “75% of us have been working together for over 8 years. We consider ourselves as family, and we work together like a fine, well-oiled machine.” Henton added that post COVID-era challenges were met through their general practices in order to maintain a high service, and that the Bluejacket Bistro had continued to operate above and beyond Ney expectations.

“This Ney award in food service excellence is an extraordinary, something truly remarkable. It is huge for any command who wins it,” said Limon. “This awards consistently prove the food service program onboard NSA Bahrain Bluejacket Bistro succeed in all areas of responsibility and leave a positive impact to all customers year-round.”

Capt. Zachariah Aperauch, commanding officer, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, understands that the measure of success for the Bluejacket Bistro extends far beyond the numbers.

“I could not be more proud of our galley team and their relentless dedication to excellence and tireless support of our service members,” said Capt. Zachariah Aperauch, commanding officer, NSA Bahrain. “Most of our Sailors and personnel are away from their families and having such an amazing galley team can make a stressful tour much easier. This award just goes to show how much we care about our Sailors and their quality of life. ”

The Bluejacket Bistro team consistently incorporates customer feed-back into there. Command duty officers and assistant command duty officers complete daily meal checks to ensure sustained quality service and continued commitment to personnel aboard NSA Bahrain.

“We build the culture of winning and our team is passionate in providing the best customer service to others. We constantly seek feedback from customers utilizing the QR codes, surveys, word of mouth, and through quarterly menu review board meetings,” said Limon. “This Ney Award can’t be achieved in two weeks of preparation. To win it, the team must practice it every day, and it must be the standard throughout the year. I’d also like to thank our chain of command. Without them, we could not have achieved this prestigious award!”

NSA Bahrain’s mission is to support U.S. and coalition maritime operations throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations by providing security for ships, aircraft, and tenants on board NSA Bahrain and assigned detachments. NSA Bahrain provides efficient and effective shore services to sustain the fleet, enable the fighter and support the family with honor, courage, and commitment.

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