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French and Norwegian soldiers swap rations

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Every army in NATO has its own field ration. Join French and Norwegian soldiers as they crack open a pack and swap snacks.

Synopsis

Every army in NATO has its own field ration, commonly known as MREs (meals-ready-to-eat). While perhaps not the height of culinary expression, these rations give soldiers the calories they need to power through a hard day in the field. From Ally to Ally, their contents differ in small, interesting ways.
Join a Norwegian soldier and her French counterpart as they exchange rations during Exercise Brilliant Jump 22, held in Rena, Norway in March 2022. Brilliant Jump tested the NATO Response Force’s (NRF’s) ability to quickly deploy a combat-ready spearhead battalion on short notice. France leads the NRF in 2022, and their infantry brought plenty of hearty mountain rations to see them through the long, cold days.
Being part of the NRF means being ready 24/7, 365 days a year – and you can’t do that on an empty stomach.

Transcript

— TEXT ON SCREEN —

RATIONS SWAP

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Karoline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

That’s the Norwegian Arctic field rations.
It's for one meal and it's what we use in the winter.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

Okay, so there you have the freeze-dried ration.
So this is mostly used by alpine troops on the mountain in extreme cold.


Okay.

So that's the first meal.
So it's written right there, rice and beef.

You just have to put hot water in it.
Okay.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

This is a fish in creamy curry sauce.
It's about 600 calories.
And this is for one person.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

So let's get hot water to put
it in and let's eat.


I like this one because I like fish, plus there's potato in it. Onion, cream.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

It's kind of French, a little bit French.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

And we have things like that
in France too.

Yeah.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army


I'm eating beef and rice.
Yeah, I could eat this.

It’s some kind of paste of onion and tomato.

And it’s really good.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

Okay. So this is what we call field
bread. It's a tortilla with beef.
And in a Mexican style with wraps.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

Let's try. This one is good.
This one's better. There's kind of a spicy in there.
It's good.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

Yeah, it's a Mexican style.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

For dessert we have a different thing.
You can take this. So it's bread with apple in it.


—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

It's a little bit dry.

It's sort of like cake and pie.

Okay, so we have kind of the same,
but it's a protein bar. With cranberry.
Eat carefully because I know soldiers that chopped their teeth, because it's too cold. So it can be quite hard.
What I like about that one is that it's crispy.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

I really like this one.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

Cranberry bars.
So do you have anything to drink here?

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

So you have tea.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

I'm not a huge fan of tea, so this isn’t my cup of tea.
But it smells good.

I like the French one because it's so much in it but it's a day's ration.

But I really like it and I like that it's so much sweet. And I think I might … I might eat it up all at once.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

That's what happens a lot of times.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

Yeah. Right.

I'm the biggest fan of this because it's really tasty.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
CPL LUCAS,
French Army

And this one too.
It's kind of good because one meal, which
you have a lot of things in it.

And I think my favourite
is the tortilla.
This one's really good.
I like this one.
As the French soldier, I'll put a great eight out of ten for the Norwegian ration.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
PVT Kiroline LIBAKKEN,
Norwegian Army

And as a Norwegian soldier I would put a nine out of ten on this French one.
Okay. Thank you.

END
Music
“Field Ration Jam” by DJ Lorenzo and the Weekly Phoners
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This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is restricted for use for other purposes.
Reference
NATO888867
ID
2005