ALLISON YATES: Is pouch bread consumed at high altitudes or in cold weather?
RUSSELL SCHUMACHER: We never use it, but that does not mean we would not if we had it. The reason is supply rather than lack of demand. Crackers and some kind of bread are what the troops want at high altitudes.
ROBERT REYNOLDS: A quick question. You have given us the nutrition profile of the T Ration; Meal, Ready-to-Eat [MRE]; Ration, Cold Weather; and Long-Range Patrol Rations. This would be the intake if they consumed everything in the ration. What percentage or what fraction of these rations is actually consumed by the troops?
RUSSELL SCHUMACHER: The Marine Corps is the only Service Branch that uses the Ration, Cold Weather to any extent. With all operational rations, the first thing soldiers do is take the package and discard everything they do not want; then they make smaller packages. Overall, I would say 75 to 80 percent is consumed.
But you only have two packages in the Ration, Cold Weather and that is it for the whole day. So with the Ration, Cold Weather, more may be consumed, but still no more than about 80 percent.
ALLISON YATES: In our other workshop earlier this year, we had a demonstration of the KCLFF [Kitchen Company Level Field Feeding equipment] and the kitchen company. I understood that it would prepare more than just T Rations; one could prepare A and B Rations as well. Do you have access to the KCLFF?
THOMAS LANGE: They are trying to modify the KCLFF now so it has the ability to prepare some limited A Rations. We do not utilize it to prepare A or B Rations; it is strictly for T Rations. Soup and coffee would probably be the closest we get to an A Ration.
ANDRÉ VALLERAND: I have a question for LTC King. I am interested in the MRE heater. Could you give us more information about how much heat it produces or maybe the temperature that it can achieve, how long it will work, and its cost?
NANCY KING: It takes between 10 and 12 minutes to heat up an MRE entree, to 140°F (60°C). Currently they are issuing two heaters per ration because troops often want to thaw the ration first, if necessary, and use the second heater to warm the food. I do not know the cost.
Since we have some extra heaters and COL Schumacher has some rations, we can actually try one and you can see how it works.
RUSSELL SCHUMACHER: From practical experience, the heater should be in every ration.
NANCY KING: The MRE-13 and subsequent versions will have a ration heater included in each of meal pack.