The 23 Army Catering Corps personnel have come from all over Australia and will be based in Rockhampton until early August. There are also 12 local employees who work in the kitchen with the army cooks to prepare food.
Local suppliers have already provided more than 27,000 kilograms of meat, 23,000 loaves of bread, 32,000 litres of milk and 300,000 eggs for the troops.
Supervisor of the Camp Rocky mess, Warrant Officer Class Two Brad Coleman, has the tough task of ensuring that all of the hungry troops are fed and satisfied. He uses the Australian Defence Force Ration Scales to allocate the rations for each soldier.
Corporal Luke Gulliver, the Duty Non-Commissioned Officer, takes pride in going the extra mile in developing menus for the soldiers who are heading out on Exercise Hamel or returning from the exercise area. He develops the menus back in his tent after working a nine hour shift in the kitchen.
“For a lot of the soldiers it is their last opportunity for a fresh meal, as they’re going to be fed ration packs out in the field” said Corporal Gulliver.
The quality of the food and the positive atmosphere of the kitchen and dining rooms also help to boost the morale of the soldiers.