DRMKT Serves it up in Tenn.

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio
  • Virginia Air National Guard Public Affairs
At first glance the trailer looks like any other mobile transport you see on the highway, but upon closer inspection, the vehicle takes on a different appearance with professional graphics, modern liquid crystal display brake lights and exhaust pipes protruding from the top. But what is it you ask?

"It's a disaster response mobile kitchen trailer (DRMKT)," said Master Sgt. Krista Lindsey, Services NCOIC, 123rd Airlift Wing, Louisville, Kentucky. "Its purpose is to provide meals in a disaster response situation for all personnel, whether it's a state or a federal mission."

The trailer was used at Martin Middle School in Martin, Tenn., in support of the Hope of Martin community outreach project, an Air National Guard-led initiative providing medical care during the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission.

The 123rd AW has a 4-person team and the 134th Air Refueling Wing, Knoxville, Tennessee, has a 6-person team led by Tech. Sgt. Jacob Daniels. Both teams shared cooking duties while supporting the IRT mission. "The advantages of this trailer are that it is mobile, portable and has safer, enclosed burners for cooking," said Lindsey.

Once the DRMKT is filled with 50-gallons of water for cooking and cleaning, it is considered completely self-sufficient, even generating its own electricity via a built-in generator.

This trailer houses two fuel tanks. The first tank is for burners and accepts diesel, kerosene and JP-8 fuels. The second tank is for the generator and only accepts diesel fuel. The entire vehicle can be loaded into a C-130 cargo plane and be transported anywhere to support a disaster or a mission like the Hope of Martin.

This mobile kitchen is equipped to serve a large number of people, 2000 people per meal or 6000 people per day, that's double that amount of the regular MKT. It's designed for fast set-up and teardown as well, this enables the DRMKT to serve at multiple sites in a single day if needed. According to Lindsey, set up time with an experienced crew, is approximately 40 minutes depending on meal requirements.

The DRMKT was first tested in January at the inauguration in Washington where the 123rd AW served 350 meals, three times a day to military security teams, plus a midnight meal. "There were no major issues," said Senior Airman Dwight Trowell, who worked the inauguration.

The DRMKT can cook meals en route to a location, but safety and distance logistics need to be worked out.

It comes equipped with a modern-day and very handy resource built into the wall.

"The trailer computer is a great tool that serves as a mini learning center," Lindsey said. "Services personnel can read Word documents, recipes, watch cooking videos and read equipment manuals simply by using the touch screen."

The computer also saves space in the vehicle by not having to carry recipes cards boxes or cooking books. It allows each unit to customize menus for specific missions.

A convenient tab on the computer also allows personnel to view accumulated "gray water" (dirty water), generator wattage and outside and inside temperatures on "live" gauges.

The IRT program is designed to train U.S. military medical personnel and provide assistance to underserved communities. The IRT mission assisted more than 3000 patients, performed more than 8000 procedures and made more than 1200 glasses a total value of $600,000 worth of services for the Martin community.