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Although Japan hasn’t had a full-fledged military since the end of World War II, the nation does maintain a strong self-defense force. Part of the organization’s duties is providing relief to disaster victims, whether that means meals for the hungry or simply a place for refugees to bathe. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) recently gave the public a peek at some of the clever gear it uses to accomplish this mission. And it is awesome.

Providing food to victims is an immediate concern following a natural disaster, and for that purpose the JGSDF has developed the Field Cooking Unit 1 – Mark 22.

Completed in 2012, the newest version of the JGSDF’s mobile kitchen is capable of preparing enough food to feed 200 people in just 45 minutes of cooking time. The one-ton trailer has no engine of its own and must be towed by truck to its deployment location, but is capable of cooking while in transit.

Clustered atop the Field Cooking Unit are six large-capacity reflux condenser rice cookers and a variety of other cooking apparatuses that allow cooks to broil, stew, stir fry, and deep fry a variety of ingredients. This being Japan, the Field Cooking Unit is of course also equipped with the necessary equipment to make miso soup.

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▼ A meal prepared with the Field Cooking Unit

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The operator can regulate temperatures and even set a timer for cooking to begin automatically by using the buttons on the simplified control panel, which replaces the system of valves which had to be manipulated on the previous version of the Field Cooking Unit.

▼ Old controls

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▼ New controls

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In addition to its cooking gadgetry, the trailer is also equipped with a refrigeration unit, feedwater pump, and a 1,000-liter water storage tank, as seen in the top right of the following photo.

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Of course, a full stomach won’t do you much good if dehydration sets in, and the Field Cooking Unit’s 1,000 liters of water won’t last forever. For area’s where the local water supply has been compromised, the JGSDF also has a mobile water filtration system.

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Known as the Reverse Osmosis Filtration Set, Type 2, the 86,000,000 yen (US$860,000) combination truck/water purification system can treat 70 metric tons of fresh water, or alternatively 30 tons of seawater, in a day. When the JGSDF is dispatched to areas inaccessible by road, the machinery can also be detached from the truck and transported by helicopter.

Water goes through three stages in the purification process, beginning with coagulation settling before undergoing ultra filtration and reverse osmosis film filtering, with seawater undergoing the final step twice.

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The quality of the water is checked periodically throughout the process, and as of yet there have been no reported instances of it failing inspection, the final product said to have no unusual taste or odor.

▼ Before (right) and after (left)

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For water needed for uses other than human consumption, the less stringent purity requirements allow the JGSDF to process up to 130 tons in a single day. Excess water can be stored in one of two five-ton tanks.

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With sustenance and drinking water taken care of, hygiene becomes the next necessity to take care of. The JGSDF’s Field Laundry Set Type 2 consists of a trailer with two generator-powered washing machines and a dryer, something that plenty of Japanese homes don’t even have. The side panel of the trailer can also be folded out to create a covering under which clothing can be hung to air dry.

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Finally, aside from a place to wash their clothes, disaster victims also need a place to wash their bodies, and here the JGSDF pulls out all the stops.

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The Field Bath Set Type 2 includes everything you’d expect at a typical Japanese bathhouse. There are shelves with baskets to hold bathers’ belongings, along with stools, buckets, and individual washing stations. Best of all, there’s a large tub, allowing for the proper finale to the Japanese bathing ritual of a leisurely, warming soak.

Our hearts go out to anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they have to rely on the equipment shown here. Likewise, the JGSDF has our gratitude for providing the comfort of a hot meal and a hot bath to those in need.

Sources: Blogspot, Nikkei Trendy
Images: Blogspot