Packages for Troops on Ops

#1
The time has come around again when my Parents & friends are putting together morale packages for the Troops, mainly on Op HERRICK. The list of suggested items that they have seems sensible, but they refused my idea of porn & shampoo bottles full of booze.

As a former cold-war warrior who went nowhere more dangerous then the Balkans & lived in luxury there I have no real idea what the Troops in the PBs/FOBs might actually need. One suggestion I heard was stuff like dried seasoning packs (you know, things to improve fresh meat like jerk flavouring, sausage casserole mix & the like). The bonus I can see is that they're light & could add some variety to the rations, but do these locations get fresh?

Would this kind of thing be of use? In my days on Soltau my panzer crew used to touch me for fair sums of cash for herbs & spices, while on the limited dismounted work I've done I'd carry film canisters of curry powder & similar.

Educated opinions welcome!
 
#2
Shaving gel is always a winner, the EFIs are always running out, shower gel is quite popular, dont sent toothbrushs or toothpaste, theres tons of it.
 
#3
Porn and dirty school girls knickers.
 
#4
Shaving gel is always a winner, the EFIs are always running out, shower gel is quite popular, dont sent toothbrushs or toothpaste, theres tons of it.
Thanks for that. The list we have includes the items you suggest.

Porn and dirty school girls knickers.
My Dear Old White Haired Mother & assorted local great & good vetoed porn. Sadly I don't know any dirty school girls for the latter.
 
#5
Original source tea tree and mint shower gel and shaving cream is er "mint" out there as it cools you down.
 
#6
When my son was there recently I sent him coffee (chucked into a freezer bag) noodles, assorted sauces, cup a soups, soft chewy sweets, a few books (you can fit 4 in a wine box) to spread amongst the boys and wet wipes ect
 
#7
Thanks, all, from someone who used to send his post & laundry forward. All good ideas which have been incorporated in what's been bought already.

Any ideas if herbs/spices/flavouring mixes are a good idea? What do the Troops on the ground actually get to eat in FOBs?
 
#8
Thanks, all, from someone who used to send his post & laundry forward. All good ideas which have been incorporated in what's been bought already.

Any ideas if herbs/spices/flavouring mixes are a good idea? What do the Troops on the ground actually get to eat in FOBs?
Very good idea anything to give them a change. It is a lot of compo (or whatever it is called these days) but they do get some fresh rations, depending how far and oftemn delvieries are, they also love to make pizza with smoked sausage.
 
#9
We used to make pizza using tomato paste, parmesan cheese (grated pasta topping stuff) and pepperami, the officers can add olives if desired or anchoives if feeling cosmopolitan.
 
#10
Excellent idea but when we were out last Christmas we were asked to pass the word, on not sending random parcels as the mail system was chock full of the things and it would block parcels to named people. Some units did set up distribution points but it caused a lot of teeth grinding in upper echelons. Dont know what the advice is this year.
 
#11
Shaving gel is always a winner, the EFIs are always running out, shower gel is quite popular, dont sent toothbrushs or toothpaste, theres tons of it.
Are you allowed to send pressurized containers (as in shaving gel)?
I had a package returned because they suspected it contained an aerosol. -BTW it didn't.
 
#12
Excellent idea but when we were out last Christmas we were asked to pass the word, on not sending random parcels as the mail system was chock full of the things and it would block parcels to named people. Some units did set up distribution points but it caused a lot of teeth grinding in upper echelons. Dont know what the advice is this year.
This is something organised by a retired gentleman with connections to a Unit which will be in theatre between now & Christmas. It has been sanctioned by that Units CoC, I understand.

Are you allowed to send pressurized containers (as in shaving gel)?
I had a package returned because they suspected it contained an aerosol. -BTW it didn't.
Briefing was that no pressurised containers could go out. However shaving gel is available in tubes/squeezy bottles & while not as good as an aerosol still does the trick. Besides, I thought the boys (& some of the girls ;) ) were growing big old ally beards these days on HERRICK?
 
#13
Excellent idea but when we were out last Christmas we were asked to pass the word, on not sending random parcels as the mail system was chock full of the things and it would block parcels to named people. Some units did set up distribution points but it caused a lot of teeth grinding in upper echelons. Dont know what the advice is this year.
The request is the same this year. Twas a bit annoying having the OH's X-mas presents tip up 3 weeks late, but on the bright side at least he had loads of toothpaste and shaving foam to open on 25th December!!

It is a great idea and really charitable, but I agree with the powers that be that it would be better to send it out throughout the year, avoid the Christmas crush and let the blokes/girls get the presents sent by their families.
 
#14
Avoid jelly type Haribo as they end up as a big clump of jelly. :)

Super noodles where my little pleasure as well as proper cafeteria coffee, or just packets of fancy coffees where nice too.

You can't really go wrong with what you send because the welfare packages normally got either distributed to the less fortunate guys in the PB or where put into a large box and you help yourself to what you required.

Good books where a very sought after commodity you can imagine how quickly you can read a FHM or Nuts on radio stag, also surprising how many time you can read it and find something new every time.
 
#15
Thanks again all.

Haribo has gone in in view of the upcoming Afghan winter not causing melting problems but I did suggest that anything with chocolate shouldn't because of any delays en route.

I have suggested to the venerable gentleman (via my Mother) that the collections are made throughout the year, but for some reason his contact at the Unit involved is happy that a collection happens now. I'm not for a second going to breach OPSEC by speculating on which Unit that is or who might be about to deploy; aside from anything else I'm now retired myself & have no clue about O&D (some might argue I had no idea about O&D when it was part of my SO3 portfolio...)
 
#16
Personnally...... Chocolate is a no no only because last time I got some through last time I was out their my mum sent me some and it looked like a big poo in the box....

but its always kl to get something that will take your mind off what the he is going through at the time could send them packs of cards, or even top trumps. Wet wipes and some showergell as well as the forementioned Shaving Foam... and maybee if you really fancy spending a lot of money you could send some razor blades as again the EFI is always running out of them to. apart from them Nuts and Zoo Mags would go down a treet because if they come in the parcel it will be more up to date from what is in the EFI...
 

MrBane

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#17
I'll say again what I've said many times before.

Be very careful as to what you put into a welfare package as most of it will get thrown in the bin.

No-one can argue this point. We've all seen that MFO box full of crap that no-one wants or needs. It's a fantastic gesture from those that support us but unfortuantely it's not always made clear what we do and do not need.

I've never quite understood the concept of sending the 'Random' parcels to people based in Bastion or Lash as, lets be honest, they have everything they need unless the EFI runs out (Which it does). It makes more sense to give it to those in FOBs or PB's but again, it's not that simple to get it out there.

I honestly think it would be better if there was a small body organised at Bastion which was a registered charity and all money donated would be spent on ensuring people had what they needed. From welfare toys for those in Bastion to supplies of shampoo, toothpaste, etc to the lads that spend most of their time on the ground. The money could be controlled and spent by this body who would take 'orders' from units as to what they need / want / use the most. This body then spends the money and gives the supplies to that Unit to dish out.

So for example, a purely REMF unit says; "Our TV has broken in the Unit welfare tent." This body buys a new one.
Another combat arm reg that's out on the ground says; "We have 100 men and we're going on a one month op. Some basic sanitaries for the lads would be good." The body goes and gets toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.

So we cut down on air frieght leaving more room for important parcels and we cut down on wastage from stuff getting binned.

Though I suppose whatever gets binned the natives will ultimately find and use for themselves so it's all good I suppose.

Oh, and the example I give to say that most comfy boxes going to the main bases get wasted can be summed up by how I've seen people in Bastion / Lash opening a box, going "Another ******* toothbrush." and chucking it compared to when we'd been out on the ground for a few weeks patrolling and living out our bergens and were given four comfy parcels between 90 of us. They got raped for everything. Guys were fighting to get the dental floss. Nothing was wasted.

*Shrugs*
 
#18
I know what you mean MrBane!!!

I know my job is not the most of hardest jobs out there and at the start of the year when I was in Bastion the guys was getting these boxes through and what we done was put it in a box and put it out on the terminal floor so when the troops were flying in or out they were welcome to take the toothpaste and brushes etc. from them. We also used to keep some othe shower gel that was sent in for that instance when we got comp movements and he/she had come straight of the ground their was soap, shampoo and a towel for them to use before they flew home....

so the toothpaste and toothbrushes might not always go to waste but if some detachements wernt abunch of ungreatfull bellends they would keep them and send them to places that the guys could get a hold of them as they either enter or leave bastion or KAF.
 
#19
Shaving gel is always a winner, the EFIs are always running out, shower gel is quite popular, dont sent toothbrushs or toothpaste, theres tons of it.
Im constantly baffled as to why the shelves have the same amount of space filled up with female stuff, gathering dust when the proportion of female soldiers is maybe a tenth of the blokes?

A good one would be paracetamol, brufen and immodium, its like rocking horse shit in the MOBs, let alone anywhere else. Strangley enough the EFI is never short of pickled mussels, really nice in 40 degree heat.
 
#20
Excellent idea but when we were out last Christmas we were asked to pass the word, on not sending random parcels as the mail system was chock full of the things and it would block parcels to named people. Some units did set up distribution points but it caused a lot of teeth grinding in upper echelons. Dont know what the advice is this year.
Advice on unsolicited mail to Herrick:

Welcome to the Official British Forces Post Office Website

Also, please ensure that anything sent is packaged correctly. If liquids are sent (including shampoos and shower gels etc) and they break, remember that it doesnt just ruin that item, it ruins everybody's mail in the bag.
 

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