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Posted: 12/21/2003 9:09:50 AM EDT
‘First-strike rations’ developed

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

12/19/2003 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- "Ration stripping" is what they call it when forward-deployed combat servicemembers get rid of all but the most essential items from their Meals, Ready to Eat so they do not have so much to carry as they set out on a mission.

Servicemembers in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan reported sacrificing all but a few carefully chosen food items from their MRE pouches to lighten their pockets and rucksacks.

These reports alarmed food technologists at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center at Natick, Mass, who recognized that warfighters were not simply tossing aside "luxury" items like flameless heaters and Tabasco sauce.

Servicemembers were also leaving half of their food behind, losing half the nutrition and calories of MREs -- at a time when their bodies needed them most, said Janice Rosado from the Defense Department's combat-feeding program.

In response, center workers are developing the "first-strike ration" specifically for short-term use by warfighters during the first days of conflict, Rosado said.

First-strike rations are lighter and more compact than standard MREs. A single pouch holds a full day's food supply and weighs about 2 1/2 pounds. By comparison, three MREs are about 2 pounds heavier, Rosado said.

Besides increasing servicemembers’ mobility, the new rations are designed to enhance their physical performance and mental acuity. They contain food easily eaten on the go, she said: a pocket sandwich, beef jerky, nuts, dried cranberries, applesauce and bread or crackers with a cheese spread. Extra energy comes packed into a fudge bar, a high-carbohydrate bar, an enriched beverage mix and caffeine-laced chewing gum.

"They're a combat-driven ration that has more carbohydrates, less packaging and no luxury items," Rosado said. "They're based on what warfighters say they most frequently take with them when they're on the go."

The new rations are not intended for noncombat operations or field-training exercises, Rosado said.

They are "not nutritionally complete” and do not meet all the dietary standards required of MREs, she said. In addition, first-strike rations have fewer calories than MREs -- 2,900 to 3,000 in a one-day pouch, compared to 3,600 to 3,900 calories in three MREs.

The new rations are a big improvement over the "Band-Aid approach" servicemembers have historically used to feed themselves while on the run, Rosado said.

The new rations have been field tested by Army special operations troops and Navy SEALs, with both groups giving them the thumbs-up, Rosado said.

In fact, the latest prototype of the new ration proved so popular during testing that U.S. Army Special Operations Support Command officials requested as many of the rations that the center’s food engineering lab could make to ship to Rangers deployed to Iraq.

Current plans call for the first-strike rations to be fielded by 2007.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 9:14:56 AM EDT
Great idea and about time.  But why the fuck does it take 4 years to get it out?
Stripping is mostly getting rid of packaging.
Hell, if they want to do something useful, make everything with cheese spread.  Peanut butter sucks!
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 9:19:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B:
Besides increasing servicemembers’ mobility, the new rations are designed to enhance their physical performance and mental acuity. [red]They contain food easily eaten on the go, she said: a pocket sandwich, beef jerky, nuts, dried cranberries, applesauce and bread or crackers with a cheese spread. Extra energy comes packed into a fudge bar, a high-carbohydrate bar, an enriched beverage mix and caffeine-laced chewing gum.[/red]

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Sounds like what backpackers have been packing and eating for years.  

Where can i get some caffeine laced gum???

Link Posted: 12/21/2003 9:25:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Sylvan:
Hell, if they want to do something useful, make everything with cheese spread.  Peanut butter sucks!
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I've been saying that for years.  Seem like they're trying to slowly phase out cheese spread so no one wil notice.  I'm on to you f**kers!
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 9:30:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SGTIMAK:
Originally Posted By Sylvan:
Hell, if they want to do something useful, make everything with cheese spread.  Peanut butter sucks!
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I've been saying that for years.  Seem like they're trying to slowly phase out cheese spread so no one wil notice.  I'm on to you f**kers!
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[:O] No More Cheese spread  [:O]

That is good stuff
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 6:08:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By danonly:

 

Where can i get some caffeine laced gum???

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ask and you shall recieve [url]www.thinkgeek.com/caffeine/candy/[/url]
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 7:00:32 PM EDT
I don't know why the USA Army is developing a new set of rations, I can just buy the same stuff off the shelf at the local camping store or specialty mart, except the pocket sandwich. I'm sure that the govt can go to the supplier and say "I want buy a bulk order of this stuff, like this...."  and I need 2 railway box cars worth, and poof it will magically appear, and it shouldn't cost the taxpayers too much since all of this stuff already exists.

During Gulf War I, I worked for a large food company, and the govt place a huge order 3 railway box cars for shelf stable pudding, the govt didn't even bother to ask for a trade discount. The buyers in the grocery industry would've asked for it right away and raised holy hell if they didn't get it.
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