USS RONALD REAGAN, At sea (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) marked the beginning of a new era in shipboard vending machines by becoming the first Navy vessel to offer Vending in a Box (VIB), Jan 7.
Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Reagan's commanding officer, celebrated the grand opening of the new VIB concept with an official ribbon cutting ceremony aboard the ship. Reagan Sailors eagerly lined up to be one of the first to purchase a soda from the enormous vending machine.
VIB is a custom built vending system that allows more products to be stocked, refrigerated and dispensed without the constant hassle of restocking. According to Master Chief Ship's Serviceman (SW) Manuel M. Trevino, Reagan's Ships' Sales leading chief petty officer, Reagan's conventional soda machines had to be stocked as many as four times a day in order to keep up with the high demand.
According to Trevino, VIB was designed to reduce manpower by reducing the frequency in which it has to be restocked because it has the capability to refrigerate, store and dispense 1,560 cans (65 cases) of soda. A conventional soda machine can only store 550 cans of soda, making VIB equal to nearly three regular machines.
"It dispenses cold sodas, and there is a less chance of getting a warm soda," said Trevino. "The unit has 10 slots for soda flavors and I chose the top six sellers on the ship to stock the VIB," he said.
VIB is located near the ship's mini-store which primarily serves embarked airwing personnel. With help from the Naval Supply Systems Command, VIB was custom built for the location it would occupy aboard Reagan.
After being built at the factory, it was disassembled and reconstructed aboard Reagan in two and-a-half weeks right before the ship departed San Diego on its maiden deployment.
"So far we've received nothing but good comments from the crew about the new machine. We're already making plans for a second VIB to be located on the mess decks," said Trevino.
Reagan is serving as the test platform for the VIB concept for the entire fleet. During the deployment, the ship will report back to the manufacturer and Naval Supply Systems Command on the durability and reliability of the system. If the system passed the test, VIB could become the future of vending aboard all Navy vessels.
Reagan is currently on her maiden Western Pacific deployment in support of the global war on terrorism and maritime security operations.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.