Support: September 19, 2004


Getting hot food to troops in combat situations, especially while they are moving rapidly, has always been a problem. In fact, its mostly been impossible. But the U.S. Army has developed and tested a system that works. Its called the Assault Kitchen (AK). The entire operation, which can serve up to 500 meals a day fits in one vehicle. Commercial components were used to build the compact operation that fits inside a hummer. The AK can be set up, or taken down, in ten minutes by the two cooks who drive the hummer and prepare the food. Actually, not a lot of food preparation is done. The key to the AK is the use of heatable tray pack ration (T-Ration). Think of them as TV Diners that dont have to be refrigerated. They do have to be heated, and the AK has a T-Ration heater that will run for ten hours on five gallons of fuel. The heater can be used while the AK hummer is in motion. Since it takes 30-40 minutes to heat a T-Ration, the AK can be serving hot food to troops within fifteen minutes of arriving at a unit. The heaters in the AK can also be used for hot beverages (coffee) and heating canned food (industrial size, number 10 cans of soup, stew or whatever). An AK team consisting of a hummer equipped with the AK gear, and another hummer or truck carrying the food, can feed a company of combat troops three hot meals a day. Since troops in the field dont expect to get three hot meals a day, one AK team can keep a battalion in a good mood by driving around and giving most of  the troops at least one hot meal a day. Plus hot coffee and whatever other goodies they haul along with them (munchies like donuts, cookies or chips are a favorite.) The AK also carries an ice chest, allowing for the preparation of some cold drinks as well. 


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