Troops on the front line in Afghanistan now have new and improved operational ration packs, including a lightweight version, and a host of new menus.
New ration packs for front line troops 14 February 2011
Designed for troops on patrols lasting 12 hours or less, the new lightweight ration pack weighs less than 1kg. It includes food that can be easily carried in webbing pouches and pockets and eaten quickly whilst on operations.
The latest meals feature new selections of food in the multi-climate ration packs as well as the 10-man versions used by military chefs feeding troops in more remote tactical bases.
Private Ryan Salmon from D Company 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) says: "The new 12 hour ration packs are a great change from the normal rations. It contains Beef Jerky and a sandwich, which are great for a quick meal. The chemical water heater and main meal are good when you are on short operations, you can get a
quick warm scoff and not worry about messing around with a cooker."
Every ration pack is nutritionally tailored to suit troops' needs in different environments and developed to ensure they are provided with the 4,000 or more calories a day they need to keep their energy levels up whilst on active service.
Menus include Hindu, Sikh, Halal and vegetarian menus - all of which have been updated.
Captain Jeremy Rigby, Head of DE&S Defence Food Services which is based in Bath, says: "This new contract - which was delivered ahead of schedule and under budget - enables us to produce innovative new rations quickly, meaning we can swiftly adapt to the latest operational requirements. It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to
respond to feedback from our troops in Afghanistan, making sure we give them food they enjoy whilst maintaining the high nutritional content - as well as making the packs as light and convenient as possible."
As well as giving frontline troops more variety, the new 3-year contract is expected to deliver savings of £1.6m a year to the Ministry of Defence.