Working Together to Feed the Army
June 19, 2009
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. - After a long day of training during the Global Medic 2009 exercise, Soldiers look forward to a hot meal prepared by the members of the 349th Combat Support Hospital field kitchen from Bell, Calif.
Along with providing two hot meals a day for everyone participating in Global Medic, members of the field kitchen also have their knowledge tested by exercise controllers. The team plays a dual roll of nutrition care specialists as well as developing medical nutrition therapy plans for the simulated patients in need of modified diets.
Each of the Soldiers is trained in the preparation of nutritionally balanced meals to sustain the Soldiers.
"We will be developing special diets and monitoring patient needs on a case by case basis," said Staff Sgt. Lenalda Corley, 349th CSH.
The field kitchen has 11 Soldiers working in two shifts that cover a timeframe that begins at 4 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m.
"We are feeding an average of 400 Soldiers but are prepared to feed up to 500," said Corley.
A lot of planning goes into the preparation for an exercise of this size. It requires a joint effort of several different units to ensure the proper amount of food and supplies are ordered. The kitchen also had to be inspected to ensure it was ready to function.
After the kitchen is prepped at the beginning of each day, the meals for the day have to be selected. The Soldiers then spend about three hours preparing the food with heat tanks and ovens, which make the field kitchen reach well over 100 degrees.
This is the first time that most of the Soldiers in the field kitchen have worked together, so they had to pull together and work as a team to complete all aspects needed to make Global Medic 2009 a successful training mission, said Corley.
At the end of a hard day of training, most Soldiers look forward to a hot meal.
"I think we play an important roll in this exercise in the effect of the morale," said Corley.