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High energy food for hot weather soldiers.

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Media Contact: Kate Sieper 0488 484 689

M e d i a R e l e a s e THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel 13th March 2008 HIGH ENERGY FOOD FOR HOT WEATHER SOLDIERS Beef jerky and energy bars are set to revolutionise the ration pack for Australian soldiers serving in hot climates, the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon announced today. “We’ve found that soldiers operating in high temperatures often discard food from their ration packs because cooked, hot, meals aren’t appetising, or they’re not hungry due to the heat. This can mean soldiers don’t eat enough to meet their energy requirements,” Mr Snowdon said. “While the current ration packs serve the Army extremely well, a specialised ration-pack that is even more effective in hot environments will help our soldiers undertake strenuous activity in harsh environments.” Research has found that eating increases thirst and therefore fluid intake. If soldiers are not eating enough, they have the potential to become dehydrated. Keeping soldiers hydrated is essential to achieving mission effectiveness. The Australian Army asked the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) to develop a new ration pack that makes it easier for soldiers to maintain their nutritional levels. “Given the hot climatic conditions in our immediate region, the ration pack work being undertaken by DSTO is critical in supporting our soldiers to do their job,” said Mr Snowdon. DSTO’s research has shown that sports drinks, fruit, trail mixes and savoury biscuits are some of the most popular items soldiers would like included in hot weather rations. A prototype hot weather ration pack is set to undergo trials in the field at Tully in Far North Queensland. The results of the trial will be used to further refine the contents, with the new ration pack anticipated to enter into service later this year. Further Information: Kate Sieper (Mr Snowdon) 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Lorraine Mulholland (DSTO) 02 6128 6385 or 0424 779 498