AFRL Sensors Directorate officially opens Wingman’s Courtyard Café

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate officially opened the Wingman’s Courtyard Café with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, April 6, 2021.

The Wingman’s Courtyard Café is an on-site facility that provides healthy food options to employees and visitors to the Sensors Directorate.

“We now have a contemporary café that offers healthier, fresh menu items for both breakfast and lunch for a population of over 1,000 employees and visitors each day during normal operations,” said Col. Tracy Hunter, interim director the AFRL Sensors Directorate. “Additionally, we frequently have visitors to our facilities and the café provides the opportunity to have on-site menu options to support those events.”

The Sensors Directorate partnered with the 88th Air Base Wing Force Support Squadron to open the café.

“Partnerships of this nature are always a win-win for both agencies,” said Beth Rinderle, the Sensors Directorate Senior Facilities Engineer. “The 88th FSS provides a much needed food service outlet for base employees. In return, our patronage of the Wingman’s Courtyard Café promotes on-base eateries and allows for the 88th FSS to continue to grow, operate, and employ more workers.”

Having easy access to a healthy food service can have a major impact on the mission.

“Having on-site, healthy, fresh, inexpensive breakfast and lunch options is a huge boost for morale among our employees,” said Rinderle. “Boosting morale always contributes to mission success.”

Projects like this have many moving parts and take a team effort to complete.

“I would like to thank the 88th Mission Support Group and the 88th FSS for their support and perseverance in making this happen,” said Col. Hunter. “I would also like to highlight the contributions of Beth Rinderle from our facilities team. She represented the Sensors Directorate and was instrumental in project planning, design, construction, customer interface, and ongoing coordination with all parties.”

Future plans include opening the café to anyone on base by providing touchless ordering and pick-up food options.

image of ceremony

U.S. Air Force Col. Tracy Hunter, interim director of the Air Force Research Lab Sensors Directorate, and Col. Paul Burger, commander of the 88th Mission Support Group, cut a ribbon to open the Wingman’s Courtyard Café inside the Sensors Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio on April 6, 2021. The opening of Wingman’s was delayed nearly a year due to COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)