The deadline for ISAF personnel to depart Afghanistan is allegedly 31 DEC 14. As the drawdown gathers steam, a lot of amenities currently available to deployed troops will disappear (including a few that probably never needed to be there in the first place). Ethnic food, food specialty nights, some hot chow meals entirely – it’s all slowly going away. You have no doubt seen the outraged posts and comments on social media from people whose idea of supporting the troops is sharing a picture or someone else’s outraged post, comment or picture about our troops having to miss meals – an inaccuracy, in large part, because the meals in question aren’t being denied, they are being replaced with MREs or UGRs.
Apparently not everyone understands the concept of “tooth to tail”.
“Ye Gods. They gave a war and garrison came.” Nate M.
“You’re not going to believe this s&!t Dave. Less than forty minutes from where we were eating MREs and showering once a week they had surf and turf night every Friday. Steak and lobster. Once a week. We were glad to get boxes of frozen corndogs. It’s like two different worlds.” Chad G.
In any case, MREs will be coming back in a larger numbers than deployed troops have seen in recent years. Part of this is due to an infrastructure that allows hot chow to be served with far greater frequency than any previous war in history. Part of it is because MREs are actually more expensive than a number of other options, including among other things boxed nasties. This is euphemistically referred to as returning to “expeditionary standards” and unfortunately it’s a necessary part of the drawdown. It will begin in the more outlying locations (those that had any amenities in the first place) and will slowly affect larger and larger installations. Presumably they’ll eventually pull out the ice cream stands and burger huts too.
The original article refers to as MREs as “dreaded”. I wasn’t sure that was a completely accurate term..then I remembered the old egg and cheese omelet packages (not the more recent #4s, the older ones) and thought…maybe dreaded isn’t such a bad word after all.
Brig. Gen. Steven Shapiro advises the hot food reductions must be in place by 01 October.
CamelBak put out a video about their “All Clear Microbiological UV Water Purifier” last month and somehow I missed it, so here it is late.
All Clear is a portable purification system built into the actual CamelBak water bottle that provides purified water in about one minute. You can fill it from a pond, a handy swamp, or even one of those streams that flows away from the COP…though personally I don’t know that I’d trust the UV to make that sort of libation safe. According to CamelBak, the All Clear reduces bacteria 99.9999%, virus 99.99%, Protozoa 99.9% and it will last 10,000 cycles. The description doesn’t mention particulate matter, though, you’ll still need to filter the silty/moss/gritty stuff out before putting it in the bottle (unless you just like the texture).
No word on how it affects taste and I haven’t tried it myself. I’m guessing depending on your water source you still run the risk of getting that delicate bouquet of distilled ass sweat.
PARIS — Beginning in January, Camelbak’s new Antidote Reservoir will be incorporated into all of the hydration company’s bladder-based drinking products.
Camelbak officials displayed the new reservoir here in Paris. The Antidote features a baffled design for more stability and a larger fill cap that opens and locks closed with 1/4 turn. The reservoir also features Camelbak’s Quick Link tube connection that seals when disconnected from the base of the bladder.
The Antidote is Camelbak’s first major design change since it introduced the Omega reservoir in 2004. I got a demo of Antidote from Dan Nemits, product manager for Camelbak. I’ll be posting a short video on it soon.
For more information (not all of it quite as whimsical), visit their YouTube Channel or check out their website. Now, make no mistake: I’m not passing judgment on their content. I haven’t dug through there and looked. I just thought you all might get get some valuable insight from their urban survival vest. Tell you one thing I agree with for sure: you can have all the best kit in the world and be as prepared as it is humanly possible to be…but if you haven’t practiced, trained and rehearsed with everything you might need, you’re prepping to fail. Thorough training trumps gear every time, and practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
I’m a big fan of NOT eating MRE’s when I don’t have to. I literally lived off them for six months in Afghanistan and horse traded with many a foreigner (very few were willing to trade) for a meal upgrade. Something about those nasty little things that get to you after a while. [click to continue…]
All right, brace yourself, but this piece of kit is for down time, not the fight (although, I have seen guys roll out on QRF in these.) Behold the Reef Fanning flip flops with an integrated bottle opener! This piece of gear has completely changed my life. No more searching high and low for a bottle opener, trying my hardest to open a beer with my can of Copenhagen (years of lessons and I still can’t do this!!) or banging my beer against a railing to crack open that refreshing goodness. Now, just like my spare magazines perfectly placed on my kit, I now had the means for a “speed reload” while decompressing after a hairy mission.
Here is some more action from Danao for the DIY gun nuts out there. I asked about the strange appearance of the barrels and was told that the segments are to increase the surface area to aid the cooling process, sort of like what you have on the 60mm mortar system, or the heat synch on a computer CPU for you tech heads. The second, and perhaps more important reason? It’s all about looks, baby. [click to continue…]