Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship

>The Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship is stowed aboard lifesaving craft for use in short term survival at sea incidents
The Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship is stowed aboard lifesaving craft for use in short term survival at sea incidents.

Today in WW II: 15 Sep 1944 US Marines invade Peleliu, beginning a long and tough battle to wrest the island from the Japanese [15 Sep-27 Nov].   

Food Packet, Abandon Ship: 1963

According to a 1963 document, the Food Packet, Abandon Ship at that time had the stated purpose to sustain life until rescue or until other food was available. It was to be used only when personnel were required to abandon ship and was supplied to lifesaving craft aboard ships.

The Food Packet, Abandon Ship of 1963 consisted of two starch jelly bars, four mint tablets, chewing gum, and matches, and was packaged in a sealed waterproof bag. Fifteen food packets and a cigarette packet were packaged in a carton; eight cartons were packed into a shipping case.

Each packet provided 474 calories. It was issued on the basis of one packet per man per day. The components had maximum stability for storage in on-deck craft under all climatic conditions. Since the Navy specified that the ration must be stable at 140F. for one month, even the starch jelly bar component had to be specially formulated. Canned water in limited quantities or water-making equipment was also provided on the life-saving craft.

Specifications of the Food Packet, Abandon Ship of 1963 were given by MIL-F-16895. Each packet weighed 5.12 ounces.

Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship

Cartons of Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship
Cartons of Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship.

In 1997, the Navy replaced the MilSpec food packets designed for survival in abandon ship situations with commercially available United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved food packets. As part of a review of survival equipment, market research revealed that four domestic suppliers and one foreign supplier hold USCG approval for manufacture of these food packets.

The Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship is used by the Navy to sustain personnel who must abandon ship. It is designed to sustain one person for 3 days (using 2 bars per day) and will fit in the storage areas of lifesaving craft. The ration resulted from experience with ocean disasters, which showed that other supplies, such as lifesaving equipment and drinking water, were more critical to survival than food.

The packet contains calorically dense cereal bars. It is used by the Navy to sustain one person for 3 days, using 2 packets per day. Packets will fit in the storage areas of lifesaving craft. The components have maximum stability for storage in on-deck craft under all climatic conditions. Expected shelf life is 84 months (5 years) at 80 F, which meets the requirement in U.S. Coast Guard Regulations Governing Emergency Provisions for Lifeboats and Life Rafts. There is a minimum of six equally shaped, commercially available, individually wrapped cereal bars per intermediate box.

Each packet provides approximately 2400 kilocalories (54% carbohydrate). It is strictly short-term survival food. The consumption of this ration minimizes the negative metabolic effects of acute starvation. The components are compatible with potable water restrictions.

The weight is 5.2 ounces/packet, 5.75 pounds/box, and 48 pounds/shipping case. Cube is 17.0 cubic inches/packet, 0.16 cubic feet/intermediate box, and 1.36 cubic feet/case.

Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship is identified by NSN 8970-01-434-3192.

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