Photo Information

A third-country national watches Mark Neeley as he loads a pallet of packaged food items onto a trailer at Al Asad, Iraq, Oct. 5. Neeley is a logistics warehouseman with Corps Logistics Support Services, Kellogg, Brown and Root. He is a native of Belton, Texas.

Photo by Cpl. James B. Hoke

Class 1 provides food to outlying bases

5 Oct 2006 | Cpl. James B. Hoke

Between cooked meals at the dining facilities and packed Meals, Ready-to-Eat, the service members in Iraq will never go hungry. However, not all forward operating bases have mess halls, and MREs aren't considered a delicacy after eating them for several weeks straight.

The Class 1 food services of Al Asad, tries to help diminish that by providing the FOBs with food products that will bring the taste of living back to the MRE-saturated servicemen and women.

"We support forward operating bases with meals," said Sgt. Victor M. Medrano, food service specialist, Class 1, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). "We provide them with foods and subsistence items such as water, Gatorade, and health and comfort packets. We have everything that dining facilities have except we ship the things we have from here to the FOBs that don't have dining facilities."

The ability to ship different foods to the many bases spread across the countryside of Iraq helps to raise morale, according to Medrano, a 32-year-old native of Tucson, Ariz.

"If it wasn't for us, all of the Marines at the different FOBs would be eating MREs," said the Pueblo High School graduate. "It's a real morale boost because they get to eat a hot lunch and a hot dinner. We also send them steak and lobster meals once a week."

"It's something different than the regular 'open-up-your-box' MRE," said Aaron Lessane Jr., logistics warehouseman, Corps Logistics Support Services, Kellogg, Brown and Root. "We send different items such as ice cream and steak. It's something more for the service members to look forward to."

Supporting upwards of 7,000 service members across Iraq, the Marines with Class 1 and the civilians with KBR work together to keep everyone satisfied.

"It's a good working experience because we get to interact with the Marines," said Lessane, a Fayetteville, N.C., native. "We have a good working relationship. We get out there and work together, and we make the mission work."