Local News

Guantanamo Bay Facility Will Have Distinct N.C. Flavor

Posted January 16, 2002

— The detention facility holding Taliban and Al-Qaida captives in Cuba will have a distinct North Carolina flavor. Not only will a Triangle company provide

uniforms for detainees

, another local business will cook their food.

Atlantic Coast Contracting Inc. in Dunn specializes in military contracts. The company's latest contract will have them cooking for service members and detainees at the new high-security U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"We feel fortunate to be able to contribute something to the war effort," said company employee Ronald Draughon.

For more than a year, about 35 employees have cooked 1,200 meals each day for sailors at the Navy base. Now, the company will be preparing up to 12,000 meals a day.

The contract is worth more than $3 million.

ACC is now in the process of hiring 200 additional employees from North Carolina and Jamaica.

James Govan has worked as a cook in the Harnett County area for 8 years. He is going through a tough security process and will leave for Cuba on Tuesday. He will be gone at least a year.

"I want to help serve my country, and I feel like that this is a way to do it -- to go over there and serve my country without toting a rifle," he said.

Govan will be cooking a lot of Middle Eastern cuisine, including goat, rice and beans.

"We want to take steps to alleviate criticism that we aren't abiding by their ethnic requirements or their religion," Draughon said.

The company said the biggest obstacle so far has been getting employees to Cuba. There are only 30 commercial airline seats available weekly. ACC has had to go through a difficult security process so they can charter planes to Guantanamo Bay.


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