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    Thanksgiving with NATO Allies

    Thanksgiving with NATO Allies

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Elvis Umanzor | Multinational troops from NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps share a Thanksgiving...... read more read more

    SENNELAGER, GERMANY

    11.25.2021

    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Elvis Umanzor 

    NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps

    SENNELAGER, Germany – British Army chefs prepared a Thanksgiving feast for multinational troops, Nov. 25, 2021, during Exercise STEADFAST LEDA 2021, a NATO exercise where 20 nations represented in the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, based out of Gloucester, United Kingdom, trained together while sharing common values and goals.

    “It's a way of showing appreciation for the wider multinational audience,” said British Army Warrant Officer Class 1 Michael Chester, the Regimental Catering Warrant Officer for the Gurkha ARRC Support Battalion, 1 (UK) Signal Brigade. “It's important to observe other celebrations across the world.”

    Chester and his team researched traditional recipes to give troops, from the other side of the Atlantic, a piece of home and had to locally resource ingredients for fresh recipes like pumpkin pie. While some dishes were unfamiliar, it was not an impossible task for the chefs, who had prepared three hot meals a day for approximately 550 troops throughout the three-week-exercise.

    “We've got quite a diverse catering department with people from all over the world,” said Chester, “so there's constant learning from each other of all these different dishes that we all bring to the table.”

    Traditionally celebrated the second Monday of October in Canada, due to an earlier harvest season, and fourth Thursday in November in the U.S., Thanksgiving has mixed origins, but there is no doubt it’s a special day spent with loved ones.

    “If you can't be with your wife, husband, moms, dads, daughters, and sons and your best friends on Thanksgiving, this is the next best thing,” said Canadian Army Colonel Robert Kearny. “This is the extended family we have, NATO headquarters.”

    Kearney, the Assistant Chief of Staff for ARRC’s Future Plans Branch and senior national representative, said he sat with multinational troops ten years ago in Kabul, Afghanistan, and was looking forward to sharing the occasion again with allies.

    “It's a point of reflection,” he added. “When I look around … those nations are pretty much all represented here in the ARRC.”

    “On this Thanksgiving far from home, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to spend it with our NATO partners,” said U.S. Army Major Natalie Meng, a human resources officer from the ARRC. “Sharing cultures and traditions throughout the year is what makes working in the ARRC such a valuable experience.”

    “The chefs did an exceptional job making us feel at home with the grand feast they prepared,” added Meng.

    The considerable menu included turkey, roast beef, pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a variety of desserts including apple, cherry and pumpkin pies to name a few.

    “If we can bring a little bit of joy into a deployment, and we can do that through food, that's what we're trying to achieve,” added Chester.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.25.2021
    Date Posted: 11.25.2021 16:41
    Story ID: 410048
    Location: SENNELAGER, DE 
    Hometown: OREGON, MO, US

    Web Views: 148
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN