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12 WORLD NEWS
Army October 15, 2009
By Capt Matt Moran
MRTF 2 soldiers at patrol bases around
Oruzgan province have been enjoying daily
fresh food after an influx of Australian cooks.
One of the cooks is Cpl Leon Brown,
whose culinary skills have proven a hit with
the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team
(OMLT) at Forward Operating Base Mirwais
in Chora, north of Tarin Kowt.
"At the patrol bases we're very much
appreciated due to the fact that before we got
here a lot of the members were eating ration
packs, so now we can control their nutritional
needs," Cpl Brown said.
"The lads go out, they patrol half the day
out in the hot sun, walking around and they
know when they get back they are going to
get a good feed.
"Some lads patrol a lot longer than oth-
ers, so we need to carb-load them the night
before, and when they get back give them
more carbs to replenish everything that
they've used throughout the day."
He said the cooking conditions were prim-
itive but manageable.
"We try and get fresh fruit and veg in,
but because it comes in once a week and
our storage is a bit of a problem, we try and
pump it out within the first three to four days
to get everyone's vitamins and minerals up,"
he said. "Then we can start slipping in a few
comfort foods, such as hamburgers; there
is not a lot of nutritional value there but it's
kind of a morale boost so everyone's pretty
happy with that now and again."
He and the other cooks rotate between
... while it may not be what
your mum makes at home,
it's certainly a lot better than
the past when we've had to
eat ration packs each day.
bases around the province. "Day to day we
cook for the OMLT, but every now and again
a combat team will come through, so we
try and feed them because they're on ration
packs the rest of the time," Cpl Brown said.
OMLT OC Maj Brenton Russell is enjoy-
ing the food on offer.
"The food has certainly come a long way.
We now have a cook at every patrol base, and
while it may not be what your mum makes
at home, it's certainly a lot better than the
past when we've had to eat ration packs each
day," Maj Russell said.
"Last night we had a really good feed of
roast pork ribs, which were fantastic. I've
got to admit we're pretty lucky with the cook
we've got here at the moment," he said.
The 10 additional ADF cooks deployed
earlier this year will also add an Australian
flavour to the menu at FOB Ripley in Tarin
The ADF is improving the catering facili-
ties at FOB Ripley through a new kitchen
facility and enhancements to the quality and
style of food on offer. It's expected the new
kitchen, which will be operated by civilian
caterers with oversight from ADF cooks, will
be operating in December.
Come and get it: Cpl Leon Brown puts the finishing touches to the evening meal at Forward
Operating Base Mirwais.
Photo by Sgt Rob Nyffenegger
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