MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII -- U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division experimented Twenty-First Century Foraging concepts during Spartan Fury 22.1 at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, March 2022.
Twenty-First Century Foraging concepts enable commanders to extend and enhance operational rations for a period without needing outside logistics support. “It is imperative that the Marine Corps logistics functions continue to adapt to force design and the future warfighting concepts. That includes reducing our logistical footprint,” said Lt. Col Richard Neikirk, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 12th Marines.
During the exercise, individual Marines procured dry goods and fresh produce from local suppliers utilizing cash 1105 funds. The Marines were able to find and purchase eggs, sausage, bacon, chicken, rice, and canned vegetables. The food was brought back to the training area where the Marines experimented with various field cooking methods.
The Marines used lightweight, expeditionary, non-organic food service equipment such as individual cooking stoves, volcano grills, and the Expeditionary Food Service Trailer that is currently being developed by the Fort Lee Instructor staff. This equipment is designed to be sustainable for long durations in austere environments and will be employed by the lowest level of any unit and in any environment.
The food was able to feed the battery for three days with two cooked meals a day. The warm meals were a welcomed change from the self-contained, individual field rations that are typically consumed in the field. By cooking and procuring food, the battery proved that it could sustain itself without outside support for a duration of time. Limiting the need for outside logistics support enhances a unit’s ability to be adaptable, mobile, and lethal.
The experimentation allowed the Food Service Specialist accompanied by the Marines in the battery to exercise foraging concepts in a CONUS training environment. “This trial period allowed the Fort Lee Instructor staff to gain real life data and procedural analysis,” said Capt. Norman Bunch, operations officer at Marine Detachment Fort Lee.
The data collected during Spartan Fury 22.1 will be used to develop future training and readiness standards as well as the future periods of instruction for Entry Level, Non-Commissioned Officer, and Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Courses.