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FR 75 ~ Bundeswehr VJTF23 Einmannpackung

German Army personnel on the VJTF23 deployment exercise in Sardinia, NOBLE JUMP 2023, were issued with the wet pouch Einmannpackung version when in the field [© Bob Morrison]

In this fifth Bundeswehr Einmannpackung (EPa) article we look at the batch issued to German VJTF troops on NOBLE JUMP 23 in Sardinia, writes Bob Morrison.

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In our last Bundeswehr EPa article we looked at the ‘little grey meal box’ rations issued in late 2022 to German troops on pre-deployment exercise ahead of the NATO VJTF23 (Very High Readiness Task Force 2023) mission, and in this update we look at a typical pack issued to participants on the recent NOBLE JUMP (NOJU23) deployment exercise (DEPLOYEX) on the Italian island of Sardinia.

Bundeswehr Typ 1 Einmannpackung as issued on the NOBLE JUMP 2023 deployment exercise in Sardinia
[© Bob Morrison]

As we have previously seen, the EPa rations issued for the 2022 pre-deployment exercise were of the freeze-dried main meal pouch variants (i.e. Typ 7 to Typ 10) but for the May 2023 exercise it was the wet pouch variants (i.e. Typ 1 to Typ 6) which the participating troops carried on their vehicles during range training periods; when in Teulada camp, however, they ate meals prepared by cooks. I both photographed one EPa (Typ 1) carried by a Leopard 2 A7 tank crew out in the field, and brought another one away with me (Typ 5) to photograph.

Bundeswehr 24-hour Typ 5 Einmannpackung ‘little grey meal box’ proffed on NOBLE JUMP 2023
[© Bob Morrison]

I travelled onwards from Sardinia, via London, to Madrid for FEINDEF 2023 and then Tallinn via Riga for KEVADTORM 2023 so needed to ensure that I did not exceed my budget airline weight allowance by picking up too many additional items on the way. To solve any potential weight problem (I would later pick up a Canadian ration in Estonia) I photographed the EPa Typ 5 contents on my hotel bed and scoffed all but the wet pouch meals and the pumpernickel between assignments; not being a fan of German brown bread, or pumpernickel, I gifted the tin to the Polish chambermaid at my hotel, but I brought the retort pouches back home as I did not have the facilities to boil-in-the bag while on my travels. The drinks sachets and pouches were added to the rotating stockpile which accompanies the lightweight travel kettle I carry with me on assignments whenever I have space in my hold luggage.

Muesli, two main meal pouches, apple & apricot desert, tuna, vegetable spread tubs and dried fruit
[© Bob Morrison]

Current German EPa wet pouch and freeze-dried Menu / Typ contents are basically very similar. From the enclosed Contents List, printed in German plus the two standard NATO / OTAN languages of English /and French, we learn that ration Typ 1 to Typ 6 menus each contain: 2x 300g Ready-to-Eat Meal pouches; 1x 80g Muesli pouch; 1x 85g Tuna pouch; 1x 60g or 1x 30g Dessert pouch; 1x 170g (canned) Wholegrain Rye Bread; 1x 25g Spread pouch; 2x 48g Spread tubs; 2x 25g Jam tubs; 1x 35g Cookies; 1x 100g Army Biscuits; 2x 25g Chocolate; 1x 50g (dried) Fruit Mix or 1x 35g (dried) Banana Chips; and 2x 35g Energy Bar or 1x 50g Sesame Bar. The Typ 5 EPa is the Vegetarian option and while the other five Menus have 1x 25g Beef Jerky pouch, this one has a Sesame Bar as well as two Energy Bars.

Canned rye bread, army biscuits, sesame bar, 2x chocolate, 2x jam, chilli cheese spread and 2x energy bars
[© Bob Morrison]

The selection of Beverages provided in each of the six wet pouch EPa menus is identical to that in the the freeze-dried packs, namely: 2x Powdered Coffee; 2x Powdered Tea; 1x Cappuccino Powder; 2x Vegetable Broth Powder; and 4x Isotonic Drink Powder sachets in different flavours (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit and Exotic). The Accessories for all ten EPa types, many of which are packed into the medium-sized zip-lock bag intended for rubbish / garbage, should include: 2x Coffee Whitener, 4x Sugar; 2x Salt; Chewing Gum x12; Water Purification Tablets x4, 1x Refreshing Tissue; 2x Multipurpose (Tissue) Paper; and Book Matches. Again, some basic Directions for Use, in three languages, are printed on the reverse of the Contents List.

Hot drinks and accessories pack, 4x energy drink powders and matches in waterproof foil pack
[© Bob Morrison]

It was Carl who sourced this ration pack for us and, once again, I had to take a hit for the team by accepting the veggie option! I’ll get my own back one day. Having said that, both the Maultaschen in Tomatensauce (Dumplings in Tomato Sauce – i.e. Vegetarian Ravioli) and Chili sin Carne (Chilli without Meat) were palatable enough once heated by boiling in the bag, though the texture of the meat substitute in the latter was a bit rubbery. The Brotaufstrich Chili (Chilli Spread) had a real kick to it ~ I ate this processed cheese spread on a few of my biscuits and really enjoyed it. However I found the the Vegetarian Spread substitutes for the Meat Spread (Pâté) to be a bit bland.

Maultaschen in Tomatensauce is essentially vegetarian ravioli ~ it was tasty enough once heated
[© Bob Morrison]
The Chili sin Carni was okay, though the texture of the meat substitute was a bit rubbery [© Bob Morrison]
I really enjoyed this dried fruit mix and would have preferred much more [© Bob Morrison]

¤ Following this brief sidetrack, I next intend to look at an Angolan 24-hour ration pack provided by Portuguese suppliers Albacores, after which I have both a Portuguese Marines 24-hour pack and a recently proffed current issue Canadian single meal IMP 20 (Menu 10) bagged ration in the pipeline.

[images © Bob Morrison]

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