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Force Support debuts new field kitchen and rations

Senior Airman Chelsea Smith, 433rd Force Support Squadron food services specialist, serves lunch to Col. David Scott, 433rd Airlift Wing vice commander, from a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen April 7, 2018. The sustainment flight served a lunch that consisted of southwestern chicken, white rice, garden salad, fruit cocktail and red velvet cake to Alamo Wing leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño)

Senior Airman Chelsea Smith, 433rd Force Support Squadron food services specialist, serves lunch to Col. David Scott, 433rd Airlift Wing vice commander, from a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen April 7, 2018. The sustainment flight served a lunch that consisted of southwestern chicken, white rice, garden salad, fruit cocktail and red velvet cake to Alamo Wing leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño)

The Unitized Group Ration, comes in 14 different combinations and can be stored for up to 18 months. Each meal, along with supplements like bread and milk, provides up to 1450 calories per meal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño)

The Unitized Group Ration, comes in 14 different combinations and can be stored for up to 18 months. Each meal, along with supplements like bread and milk, provides up to 1450 calories per meal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño)

Senior Airmen Beatrice Chilson and Crystal Wright, 433rd Force Support Squadron, serve Unitized Group Rations for the first time in a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen  April 7, 2018 during a field training on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Chilson, a food service specialist, and Wright a fitness specialist, served a lunch consisting of southwestern chicken, white rice, garden salad, fruit cocktail and red velvet cake to Alamo Wing leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño)

Senior Airmen Beatrice Chilson and Crystal Wright, 433rd Force Support Squadron, serve Unitized Group Rations for the first time in a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen April 7, 2018 during a field training on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Chilson, a food service specialist, and Wright a fitness specialist, served a lunch consisting of southwestern chicken, white rice, garden salad, fruit cocktail and red velvet cake to Alamo Wing leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño)

Maj. Robin Ecks, 433rd Force Support Squadron commander, washes her hands prior to eating lunch from a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen April 7, 2018 on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Ecks accompanied leadership for the noonday meal that served nearly 50 Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño)

Maj. Robin Ecks, 433rd Force Support Squadron commander, washes her hands prior to eating lunch from a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen April 7, 2018 on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Ecks accompanied leadership for the noonday meal that served nearly 50 Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --

The 433rd Force Support Squadron sustainment flight prepared the Unitized Group Ration in their Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen for the first time April 7, 2018 during field training here.

The UGR is the next level after the Meal Ready to Eat (MRE).  MREs are used to feed Airmen in a field environment according to Senior Master Sgt. Carol Allen, 433rd FSS sustainment service flight superintendent. “These meals are pre- packaged, you heat them up in the heating unit,” she said.

The SPEK, designed by the Systems Equipment and Engineering Team at the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Program, was created to satisfy the Air Force’s requirement for a rapidly deployable, temporary kitchen for use in remote locations.

“This is the Air Force way to go nowadays,” Allen said. “We no longer have the M-2 burners to cook with, this is a different method cooking in an expeditionary sense,” she said.

The UGR is not a new concept, however this the first time most of the Airmen had tried the next generation of the new line of the meal.  Senior Airman Beatrice Chilson, 433rd FSS, favors the new meals over the old ones.

 “I think it went excellent,” Maj. Robin Ecks, 433rd FSS commander, said of the set-up of two portable structures, the SPEK, power, water and the preparation and serving of lunch. “Everything went as planned, as there were various hiccups, but the team came together,” she said.

“This wasn’t just the sustainment flight,” Allen said. “We had to work with other units to make this happen. The logistics readiness squadron helped us get the equipment here, it is not just us, we (FSS) need support of the other units like civil engineers also.”

What was the opinion of the meal from a Reserve Citizen Airman?

“These are a lot better than the previous UGRs,” she said. “There are more flavors and they are very similar to a meal cooked in a kitchen,” Chilson said. “The UGR was delicious, I wouldn’t mind eating it every day.”