Deployed catering feeds the force

Australia and New Zealand have teamed up in the kitchen at Exercise Pitch Black 2018.

A multi-national Deployed Catering Capability was set up inside a network of inflatable tents. The busy kitchen delivered 400 nutritious lunches with multiple meal options every day at RAAF Base Darwin.

Private Paula Havea from the New Zealand Army says he was lucky to be the only New Zealand Defence Force member sent to join the Deployed Catering Capability. He says it helped him develop an understanding of the demands of operating a deployed kitchen on a major exercise and "experience what he signed up for."

“Pitch Black has opened my eyes to what to expect in my career”. said Private Havea.

He worked side by side with Royal Australian Air Force cooks.

The Exercise provided a new opportunity for Leading Aircraftwoman Sonia Gomez from Darwin’s No. 13 Squadron. It was her first time deployed in a field kitchen.

“They’ve (participants being served by the kitchen) been impressed so we are doing well,” said LACW Gomez.

Sergeant Al Dudley oversaw the team of cooks and says it’s satisfying to keep visitors well fed during the demanding pace of the Exercise.

“It’s what the job is all about. That’s what you become a cook for at the end of the day. It’s to feed people and keep them happy.”

By FLTLT Tom Maclean