Nowra company feeds our troops

22 June 2017

Jeromy Bendall and Laurie Koster in front of mobile kitchen

Nowra company Global Defence Solutions has been recognised with a national award for manufacturing mobile kitchens for the Australian Defence Force.

Global Defence Solutions took out an award for projects worth under $50 million at The Defence + Industry Conference in Canberra for its ‘deployable catering capability’ for the Royal Australian Air Force.

“They say an army marches on its stomach but in this case it is our Air Force – and hopefully soon also our Army and Navy – thanks to this enterprising company,” Parliamentary Secretary for the South Coast Gareth Ward.

“The Essington Lewis Awards recognise excellence of industry in providing supplies to our defence force and GDS has been rightly honoured for its reputation both here and overseas as a 'can do' company that strives for excellence in everything it does.”

After two years work, GDS recently delivery three large and two small kitchens for the RAAF to feed personnel when in-the- field on operations including disaster relief.

Made from stainless steel and aluminium, the large kitchens feed about 1,000 and the small kitchens up to 250 people per sitting. They are transported in expandable containers by road, rail or air and setup in hours.

The mobile kitchens have built-in power generators and fire suppression systems and are equipped with ovens, fryers, bratt pans, refrigerators, grills, kettles and bain maries.

They are built to Australian standards and designed to cater for a healthy diet of mainly fresh food, but support all requirements including gluten and allergy free.

“This National Award shows the esteem in which GDS is held and the company now hopes its initial work for the RAAF will lead to more Defence orders for kitchens including for the Army and Navy,” Mr Ward said.

GDS Managing Director Laurie Koster, a former Army engineer who started his company in 1998, now employs 20 mainly ex-defence staff with backgrounds ranging from electrical and mechanical engineers to fitters and turners.

“I love living in Nowra and things are going brilliantly. We manufacture as much as we can here and source elsewhere only if we can’t do it locally,” said Mr Koster, who is also the industry chair of the Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group.

The NSW Government has helped promote GDS on the NSW stand at the Avalon Airshow, Pacific International Maritime Exposition, and Land Forces exhibition, and has also provided assistance through Tradestart export services.