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Services Focus Day showcases barbecue bonanza

During 30th Services Focus Day, Airmen, their families and civilians sample Santa Maria-style barbecue tri-tip before the judges' taste test for the Vandenberg Ultimate Tri-tip Challenge March 15. Ten teams distributed samples to a crowd of hundreds during the event held to attract and inform the Vandenberg community to the many events offered on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Adam Guy)

During 30th Services Focus Day, Airmen, their families and civilians sample Santa Maria-style barbecue tri-tip before the judges' taste test for the Vandenberg Ultimate Tri-tip Challenge March 15. Ten teams distributed samples to a crowd of hundreds during the event held to attract and inform the Vandenberg community to the many events offered on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Adam Guy)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg's Ultimate Tri-Tip Challenge, part of Services Focus Day, drew hundreds to the Pacific Coast Club March 15 for some Santa Maria-style barbecue, games and information on the programs offered by the 30th Services Division. 

Three of 10 culinary challengers took trophies home. The Grill Sergeants, a team of first sergeants and their spouses, brought in first prize for their savory, distinctive recipe of bite-size rolls of tri-tip, jalapeño and jack cheese rolled in bacon. Two technical sergeants representing the 30th Security Forces Squadron took second due to their precision cooking and secret ingredients. Three Airmen from the 148th Space Operations Squadron, a Guard unit attached to Vandenberg's tracking station, won third with a tried-and-tested recipe for tri-tip.

The unique style of barbecue, thick cuts of beef seasoned and slowly roasted over red oak coals, is endemic to Santa Maria. Although the recipe originally called for boneless top sirloin, the cut of meat called tri-tip has become more popular for its family friendly proportions and has become a way of life for the local culture.

More than 500 Airmen and their families feasted on tri-tip served with salsa, Pinquito beans, toasted French bread, and green salad on a picture perfect afternoon, as a light breeze carried wafts of barbecue to points as far as the Health and Wellness Center and the 30th Mission Support Group headquarters building. 

Although the tri-tip cook-off was in the spotlight for the event, Services Focus Day showcased the diverse lineup of programs offered by the 30th Services Division. With award winning programs and facilities, a wide variety of intramural sports including golf and shooting, and dedicated personnel committed to providing excellent customer service, Focus Day was Vandenberg's chance to find out more about what the 30th Services Division provides to Team V, said Michael Szymanski, 30th Service Division director.

"We strive to provide the best support for the warfighter and the community," Mr. Szymanski said. "But we can't do it without our Airmen, who are like our stockholders. Every time you spend money within the Services program, you're contributing to your own stock in our company, leading to improved programs and lower prices."

With events like Focus Day, 30th Services Division continues to provide informative answers to questions, quality products and outstanding friendly customer service that their record shows.