Expeditionary TRICON Kitchen System is a container-based all
electric kitchen that feeds 150-300 Soldiers three meals a
day and can be set up by two Soldiers in about 30 minutes.
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NATICK, Mass. -- Soldiers deployed to remote locations often have
to make do with what is available to them in order to cook and serve
food. Recently, Soldiers in forward locations in
Iraq and Afghanistan have been using charcoal and wooden pallets to
create a "grill" to cook food. However, the Expeditionary TRICON
Kitchen System (ETKS) is changing that.
The ETKS is a TRICON-container based all electric kitchen that feeds
150-300 Soldiers three meals a day and is easily set up by two
Soldiers in approximately 30 minutes without any
material handling equipment.
When an expeditionary Force Provider (FP) system, the Army's
premiere base camp system, was being set up in theater, general
officers and cooks looked at the kitchen that is part of the
FP and said something like that is exactly what they need.
Therefore, an Operational Needs Statement (ONS) was created for this
type of kitchen. The ONS validated a need for 88 kitchens.
So, personnel from the Product Manager Force Sustainment System's
Force Provider team proposed the ETKS.
The team identified and integrated commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)
food service items and military equipment to meet the needs stated
in the ONS. Within the kitchens, cooks would need to be able to prepare and serve group rations and although the
original requirement was for the kitchens to feed 150 Soldiers three
times a day, the ETKS can feed up to 300 personnel three times a day.
The kitchens also needed to be able to operate in climatic extremes
and be easily maintainable.
"We had an aggressive schedule to produce and manufacture the
kitchens," said Michael Hope, team leader of the Combat Field
Services Equipment Team. "Within five months, not only were all 88 kitchens delivered, but they also achieved helicopter
Mario Lucciarini, ETKS project officer, said, "It was a phenomenal
effort from everyone on the Force Provider team to the integrators
to contracting. It was a great team effort."
Hope said the initial feedback was that the cooks and personnel
loved the new kitchen system. Comments included it was "right on the
During an evaluation with cooks in Afghanistan, the cooks themselves
suggested some modifications. After review, the team agreed they
could and should be incorporated. Some of the changes included:
changing to a convection oven; adding a weapons storage capability;
including black-out curtains; and adding more storage spaces.
Hope said the ETKS has been a success. The Soldiers are able to have
a self-contained, completely integrated kitchen. It packs small and
even includes complete sanitation, he continued. We want to make it feel as much as we can like cooking at home.
The Navy Fleet Hospital and Sea Bees are also purchasing the system.