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Military surplus news: 2018’s MRE change

Photo courtesy of the US Army

I’m so excited by the newest addition to the military MRE selection for 2018 that I nearly can’t stand myself.

In a move reminiscent of the daily lunch option at Preble Shawnee Consolidated High School in rural Gratis, Ohio, the military is now offering  an opportunity to have pizza for lunch out in the field as a MRE option.

In a recent news article in KITUP magazine the cat was let out of the bag:

 

The pepperoni pizza entrée has been added to the 2018 Meals, Ready to Eat menu and should be on its way to the field soon.

The pizza MRE will include cheddar and jalapeno cheese spread, Italian breadsticks, cookies, cherry-blueberry cobbler and a chocolate protein drink powder.

“You know, for a pizza that has to last for at least three years … it’s pretty stinking good,” said Jeremy Whitsitt, deputy director of the Defense Department’s Combat Feeding Directorate.

“Whenever we have sampled it with people, the primary comment that comes back is, ‘Hey, it tastes like the pizza I had last night that I put in the fridge,’ he said.

“I think that is a great compliment when you think about bread, sauce, cheese and meat — all have to survive in the same pouch together for three years without going bad, or getting stale or moldy,” Whitsitt added.

The pizza is made with a high-heat-tolerant mozzarella cheese and a process that controls moisture levels, pH and oxygen levels to ensure a three-year shelf life, he said.

However, it’s difficult to predict when units will see the new pizza MRE, he said.

“I can’t tell you when troops will see it because that’s all dependent on what their stock is and how quickly they eat though their older stock” of MREs, Whitsitt said.

Defense Logistics Agency officials said it will be available to most troops in about 18 months, according to a May 25 Army press release.”

The good news for us is that these babies will be hitting the surplus line soon enough and we can enjoy our youthful dietary measures all over again.

 
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The CMP; 3 things you must know about the 1911 surplus program

If you’re like me and are a big fan of the Colt 1911 frame .45 handgun, then you are probably fairly excited about the prospect of the Federal Government opening up the coffers and offering the surplus Colt 1911 military grade sidearms that they have been hoarding away for over 100 years.

According to an article recently posted on Apple News, there is going to be a brief window to purchase these things, and there are going to be some pretty harsh restrictions concerning them.  As with the old M1 Garand rifles, these 1911s are going to be offered through the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and they are going to be offered at a fairly steep price based on grade. So, basically it seems that these old workhorses will be offered as a commemorative item as opposed to a utilitarian item… a keepsake if you will.

Here are three highlights that you should know about the program:

  1. Order form packets will be posted on the CMP website June 4. The CMP makes it quite clear that it does not want to be contacted with questions before June 4, nor will it take any orders before Sept. 4. “PLEASE DO NOT CALL, LEAVE MESSAGES OR EMAIL THE CMP 1911 CUSTOMER SERVICE/SALES DEPARTMENT (which will be functional 4 June 2018),” the site states.
  2. The CMP site also lists the prices for the 1911s based on their condition.

    — Service Grade pistols will cost $1,050. These pistols “may exhibit minor pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.”

    — Field Grade pistols will cost $950. These pistols “may exhibit minor rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.”

    — Rack Grade pistols will cost $850. These pistols “will exhibit rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips may be incomplete and exhibit cracks. Pistol requires minor work to return to issuable condition.”

    There is also an Auction Grade, the price of which will be driven by the auction, and the pistol’s condition will be described when posted for sale, the CMP site states. It was not clear when the auction will be held.

  3. Customer names from complete order form packets will be fed into a computerized random number generator on Oct. 5. It will provide a list of names in sequential order through the random selection process, the site states. Customers will be contacted in the sequence provided by number generator.

    Customers will have the opportunity to select their grade of pistol — Service, Field or Rack — from available inventory at the time of order notification, the site states.

    The CMP will perform a NICS background check to ensure the customer is eligible to purchase prior to shipment to a “storefront” federal firearms licensed dealer, according to the website. The customer must receive a “proceed” from NICS prior to shipment of the pistol to the dealer.

    For more information, please go to CMP’s 1911 Information webpage.

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Military tent camping product review: The Hanging Cupboard

Whenever I go military tent Camping, I always seem to end up with my stuff piled on top of itself, pell-mell in a backpack. Getting what I need out of it can be a horrendous chore, and what normally happens is that I end up with an empty pack and my stuff scattered hither and yon all over the campsite to find what I need at the moment.

The good news is that for your next military tent camping adventure, you can have a nice portable hanging cupboard that will double as a backpack. According to the guys at Cabela’s you can:

Keep your campsite’s cook shack organized and clean with this weatherproof, collapsible cupboard. Extends to 30″, yet collapses to less than 2″ high for easy packing. Lightweight, water-resistant 400-denier nylon shell features three 22″L x 10″D shelves for food, camp equipment or other gear. Six divided outer pockets provide quick access to utensils or other necessities. Hangs from a tent frame, tree, R.V. or anywhere you need a portable pantry. Straps also make for easy rigging to a rope, so it can be pulled high in the trees at night, safe from marauding woodland critters. (http://reviews.cabelas.com/8815/516773/creek-company-hanging-camp-cupboard-reviews/reviews.htm)

This cupboard is perfect for a military tent because the hanging strap can be used off of the inner frame of your tent and is therefore off of the ground, easily accessible, and neat and tidy.

If you’ve never camped in bear country then I can’t stress enough the importance of having your gear, especially anything edible and/or tasty, up off of the ground. The reason for this is that bears are like raccoons in the fact that they will get into everything, number one, and number two, they believe that everything belongs to them. The best way to combat this issue is to get your gear up off of the ground.

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4 great uses for a surplus bag

I read recently that an military surplus army bag makes a great camera bag. Well, huh? I guess that makes sense considering the fact that military equipment is designed to be ultra functional and practical. But there are many uses for a military surplus bag that goes beyond a camera bag. let’s be honest though, the military surplus bag looks cool as hell and there is little else that can just say “adventure and ruggedness” like the rumpled canvas of a coyote brown or OD green military surplus bag. I have had several uses for my military bags over the years. I use one, for instance, as a possibles bag whenever I go hunting with a black powder rifle. I like it much better than I like the stiff leather purse I bought at the second hand store years ago, simply because it is much more functional. These things are great and are multi-functional, the best thing about them is the fact that they are so in-expensive that you can have an assortment on hand for in the event that the need arises to have one. Here are four examples of great uses for a military surplus bag.

Photo By: petapixel.com

Photo By: RDDUSA

Photo By: RDDUSA

Photo By: RDDUSA

  1. As an herbalism bag. I like to hunt for tubers and mushrooms. I also like to go out during certain times of the year and gather flowers, roots, and leaves for different medicinal purposes. A good military surplus bag , especially one like the Australian soft bag, fits easily around the shoulder and neck, and offers a great way to save what you gather without getting in the way or taking up needed pack space.
  2. As a relic bag. I also love to hunt for relics. By relics I mean arrow heads, artifacts, treasures, etc. I find these types of bags to be perfect for underwater excursions as well. I also carry two or three military surplus bags with me whenever I am on a military surplus tent adventure, especially one with the entire family where I am usually the person who ends up packing everyone else’s gear.
  3. As a medical kit. I always try to carry some occlusive dressings, two or three tourniquets, and some combat gauze just in case I get into some trouble in the form of miscreant contacts, bear attack, or I run into a nest of sasquatches. Not common, but not totally unheard of either.
  4. As a shell bag. I had mentioned that I used a military surplus bag as a possibles bag, but another function I like one is for use as a bag to hold my shotgun shells when I am skeet shooting or dove hunting. This is much easier to handle than to try to juggle a box of shells, or to hold them loosely in my pocket.
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