Naval Base San Diego unveiled its renovated galley on Feb. 22 as part of its 91st birthday celebration.
During the grand re-opening, the NDSD galley served salads, desserts, and a variety of hot meals including prime rib and oven-baked lobster — to name a few. “Let’s celebrate our birthday with great food, camaraderie, as we stroll through our new galley,” said Capt. Winton Smith, NBSD’s commanding officer.
Mercer Hall now prominently features an outdoor cooking area and covered patio. The contractors also repaired planter walls, sidewalks and galley signs.
In addition to the reupholstered seats, the walls were repainted and new ceramic tiles and carpet were laid down. The lights were also upgraded to LEDs.
Other major improvements included a new fire sprinkler system throughout the facility and the seating capacity was increased to 400.
Along with the galley’s new look is a set of more efficient cooking equipment aimed at improving the Sailor’s quality of food. New ovens have the ability to download a menu and program it.
Chief Warrant Officer Robert Favela, Mercer Hall’s food service officer, said they are planning to move away from premade food and make healthier choices from scratch. He added that the next step forward is to start partnering with military and civilian culinary schools, replicating what they’re doing in the commercial side.
“Our Sailors are out there and are executing the maritime strategy, day in and day out, keeping those shipping lanes free of piracy, taking down terrorist camps, providing humanitarian assistance or disaster relief. Our Sailors are motivated high- caliber professionals,” said Smith. “It is only right to take care of those warfighters. They can have a place to come home to, and this galley is a piece of that.”
The galley, which serves between six to eight ships at NSBD, provides meals to 600-800 Sailors.