The current United Arab Emirates (UAE) Type C Ration is a bagged MRE-style three meal 24-hour pack from Jomipsa generating 3,400kcal, writes Bob Morrison.
The bagged UAE ration pack featured on this page, which was presented to us at IDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi by Spanish suppliers Jomipsa, contained edible items produced mostly around September 2022 and packed on 12 December of that year with an indicated two year shelf life. As is only to be expected of foodstuffs intended for consumption by Muslim troops, meat content was Halal-certified. This pack is very similar to that issued by Bahrain; see: FR45 ~ Bahrain 24-hour Individual Ration Pack.
There are three different Menus for the UAE Type C packs, two containing meat dishes and one which is vegetarian. Each Menu is broken down, according to both the (dual language ~ Arabic and English) printing on the tan outer bag and the contents sheet inside, into Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Basic instructions for use are also printed in black on the outside of the outer bag, which also has a four-colour UAE national flag sticker on each side. Gross weight is 1800g and my example was Menu 1.
The contents sheet lists the three Menu types and from this it is obvious that all are broadly similar in composition, with those common items listed as being for Breakfast being: Coffee – 2x2g; Tea – 2x 1.5g; Coffee Whitener, 2x 3g; Sugar – 4x8g: Honey – 1x 15g; Fruit Jam – 2x 20g; and (4) Sweet Wheat Bran Biscuits – 1x 55g. A breakfast of just biscuits, jam and coffee / tea (to personal preference) may seem a little light to those from more northern climes who are used to starting the day with a much heartier meal, but in warmer climates heavier meals tend to be eaten later in the day. Snacks, which could supplement the breakfast items, are included in each Menu in the form of: Dates – 1x 100g; Chocolate Bars – 2x 25g; and (Savoury) Wheat Bran Crackers – 4x 65g.
Lunch items consists of a 300g boil-in-the-bag retort pouch and 2x 50g tubs of Pineapple, Apple or Guava Crème (a thick fruit paste or purée which can be spooned or spread on biscuits). The three lunchtime retort pouches are: [M1] Beef with Vegetables; [M2] Chicken Kabseh; and [M3] Beans with Vegetable Stew.
Dinner items consists of another 300g boil-in-the-bag retort pouch and a Jomipsa 85g Cake: [M1] Chick Pea and Mutton Stew; [M2] Mediterranean Tuna Salad; and [M3] Kushari or Koshary (which is an Egyptian meal usually made with pasta, rice, lentils and chick peas and a tomato sauce). Jomipsa’s, now almost legendary, cake bars supplied are [M1] Vanilla, [M2] Chocolate and [M3] Cinnamon. Four 18g isotonic drink powder sachets are also provided and in my ration pack all were Lemon flavour. Salt and pepper sachets, two of each, are also included for seasoning.
Non-edible contents in each pack include: a box of 38x safety matches; a pack of ten tissues; three individual moist wipes; a plastic K/F/S cutlery set; two Flameless Ration Heater packs; one Elbit pressed metal stove pack with 6x solid fuel tablets and 4x water purification tablets; and a resealable plastic bag for rubbish.
Food quality was, typically for Jomipsa, very good but in my opinion having just three menu choices available is not ideal as troops will inevitably quickly become bored if relying on these packs for more than a few days at a time and this could lead to nutrition and performance issues. When I brought this up with the Jomipsa team at IDEX, who are able to provide a very wide range of alternative meals, they agreed but said that the issue of giving the troops more choice in future was already under discussion with the customer.
¤ For my next review in this series I have a current issue French RIL (Ration Individuelle Lyophilisee) provided to us by the Commisariat des Armées at SOFINS 2023, and after that I have both a boxed Angolan Ração de Alimentos 24 Horas and a bagged Portuguese Marinha Ração Individual de Combate pack, delivered direct from the suppliers on Friday, to look forward too. Happy days!