BY BARBARA BURCH
OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER JACKSONVILLE
Culinary specialists (CS) from across the nation met at Naval Station Mayport, Florida to test the feasibility of cooking from scratch using a mobile kitchen trailer (MKT), Jan. 24 in support of Continuing Promise 2017 (CP17).
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CSs begin to set up the MKT.
CP17 includes humanitarian assistance and disaster response training to Central and South American partner nations; sponsored by U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet deployed forces.
In the past, MKTs have only been used for heating and serving unitized group rations which are pre-prepared, shelf stable foods. This exercise is the first time CSs used a MKT to cook meals from scratch in the field, using fresh foods from the local economy, resulting in higher quality and healthier meals for Sailors.
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The CSs are up before dawn to prep the morning meal.
Simple menus were provided by NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Jacksonville's Navy food management team (NFMT). “I tried to think of meals I might cook if I was camping out when developing the menus,” said CSC William Kanack, senior instructor, NFMT, NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville. “The methods of cooking are limited, similar to camping, mostly stovetop cooking.”
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CS1 John Blake explains how to add fuel to the individual burners for the MKT.
The CSs who participated in the Mayport MKT testing are CS2 Brandon Spencer, Naval Base Ventura County, CS2 Collins Johnson, Naval Support Facility Indian Head, CS2 Nathan Rock, Naval Station Everett, CS3 Ares Creus, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron FIVE, CS3 Rogelio Sagun, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, CS3 Tyler Schibig, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and CS1 John Blake, Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE.
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Hungry Sailors are served with a smile as they come through the line.
“The MKT's only measure eight feet wide by eight feet long. It’s a small space to put out a large amount of food,” said Blake. During testing, the CSs came together as a team, improvising and working with what was locally available, as they will when deployed. The food will be sourced from the local economies with support from NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville contracting/husbanding/expeditionary division.
Sodium laden, pre-packaged foods might be easy to heat up and serve, but nothing beats the taste and nutrition of fresh food. Personnel supporting CP17 will be able to start each day with a hot breakfast, and finish with a freshly prepared dinner in remote locations where traditional galleys are not available.