Food Services on Ex FROZEN DRAGOON 2016From 16 to 23 Feb 2016, the RCD cooks deployed on Ex FROZEN DRAGOON 16 to the beautiful Mt St-Marie Ski Resort in Quebec. This year’s winter exercise was much different, not only because of the downhill skiing portions being incorporated into the training plan, but also all fresh food was prepared and served with the new kitchen SEV. The biggest difference with this new kitchen was that the setup time takes roughly 5 hours vice 30 minutes with the older Mobile Kitchen Trailers. Another major difference was that the new kitchen SEVs run off of diesel as opposed to propane. Once we were up and running however and the troops were on the ground, we went into cooking mode. For the first 3 days we fed 250 for breakfast and supper, and provided a nice hot soup during the day.
After the first phase of the exercise was completed, which included the Regiment conducting downhill and cross-country skiing as well as snowshoeing; the line Sqn’s conducted the Basic Winter Warfare portion of their training. Everyone was scheduled to leave at 0600hrs to begin their trek into the woods. The weather was forecasted to be snow and rain for the day, so the decision was made to get the cooks up early to prepare a hearty breakfast for the troops rather than have them eat IMPs. This was a good way to boost morale and great way to start off a day with bad weather. Once the Sqns were situated in their respective AORs, we sent fresh soup through DP cycles with their respective SQs. The troops really appreciated this as they were on IMP’s for the duration of their time on the mountain and were not expecting any fresh meals for the three days. As well, we continued to feed up to 50 pers per meal in the main camp at the base of the ski hill.
Upon the Regiment’s return from their mountain adventure, we had a spaghetti dinner waiting at the chalet which was served by the CO, RSM and senior leadership of the Regiment. It was great to be served by the leadership and it also gave the cooks a much needed break to enjoy the meal that they laboured to make. The salad bar was also setup with extra items like shrimp and nachos and plenty of other goodies.
On the last day of the Ex, the cooks put on a BBQ lunch of burgers and hot dogs while packing at the same time. This was accomplished by splitting the section in half. While half the section cooked, the remainder were packing the SEV. It took about 3 ½ hrs to pack up the new kitchen, which was longer than expected because it was the first time. There was also an issue with the SEV being frozen into the ground due to the ever changing warm and cold weather.
Overall, Ex FROZEN DRAGOON 16 was great experience. Mont St Marie provided a great venue for winter training and it was the perfect opportunity to try out the new kitchen SEV. The cooks really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot about their newest piece of kit.
Ex Frozen Dragoon with D Squadron
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