Germany-based members of the US Air Force are reminding everyone why they are widely-known as the “cushiest” service, as they revel in “roughing it” during a training exercise in Poland.

From eating MREs with glee to enjoying having only a porta-potty for a working latrine, USAF personnel at Poland’s Powidz Air Base, who were brought in to tend to several aircraft during Operation Rapid Forge, a Europe-wide training exercise for American servicemembers and their NATO partners.

Getting back to the idea of crude warfare against near-peer (Russian) threats, the exercise has served as a reminder that total war doesn’t include HBO.

“This is kind of expeditionary- getting people to learn and understand how to be in the field,” said Col. Donn Yates, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing. “These are things that the mainstream U.S. Air Force have not done in a long time.”

While the Airmen operate at Powidz, they are cut off from hot food, takeout, coke machines, indoor plumbing and other amenities.

“The more it sucks out here -and you’re eating MREs [Meals Ready-to-Eat] and you’re pooping out in the Porta-John- the higher the morale is,” Yates told Defense News. “We had people out in Poland sleeping in hammocks and stuff, not because we had to but because I wanted them to feel what it is like to live in the field. And from that they feel like they’re really, really making progress to defend the nation.”

Yates may be the first servicemember in history to ever publicly state that “pooping out in the Porta-John” is a morale-booster.

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