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Invariably called a pod, the UBRE (Unit Bulk Refuelling Equipment) is a set of fuel tanks and pumping equipment that can be fitted to some military vehicles normally Bedford 4 tonner and Stalwarts. Most common on Stalwart was One Pod and the rest of the load made up with Jerry Cans, The kit included an Oil rack with a big container on top which held the 5 finger Jerry Can filler, It also included a donkey motor/pump with 2 hoses on reels, These had a bigger nozzle for faster filling of Main Battle Tanks to take place in the field. It’s like a mobile petrol station, but while it doesn’t sell milk and dog food it often has a bigger selection of Frankie.

It can be One or Two tanks (pods) have a capacity of 2200 litres, which is restricted down to about 1500 litres in peacetime. A mixed load such as diesel and petrol can be carried if fitted with a pump for each pod. The pods themselves are supplied by either lower mobility TTFs (Truck Tanker Fuel), fixed fuel dumps or ruddy great inflatable beds full of “motion lotion”.

Because Pods and TTFs have the properties of a bomb on wheels they tend to only move at night. This is strange, because the vehicles actually carrying bombs often move during the day. Maybe it’s just that someone is confused and shy and doesn’t want everyone ogling his pods during the hours of daylight.

A typical fuel drop

02.00 Zulu (farrsends of them). Arrive at hill 309, just outside Bielefeld. Can’t miss it. Nor would Johnny Soviet have on Day One.

  • Pod Driver: Pod, mate.
  • Sentry: What’s the password?
  • Pod Driver: Sorry, mate, we haven’t been told it.
  • Wee Jock McThing (Pod Map Reader): Fuck’s sake!
  • Sentry: Oh. Erm, I’ll have to go and find out what to do. You smell of diesel.
  • Pod Driver: No shit, Sherlock. We’ll get started.
  • Wee Jock McThing: Aye, ya wee fucker.

The tactical refuelling operation starts and can be heard in space. After half an hour stillness and serenity returns.

  • Sentry: It’s cheesecake.
  • Pod Driver: Cheers, mate.
  • Wee Jock McThing: Fuckin’ shite password, ken.
  • Pod Driver: Right, we’d best be fucking off.
  • Wee Jock McThing: I concur. Temporal considerations require that our sojourn be concluded and so we must away.*


*Despite being a conglomeration of many different people Wee Jock McThing has since starred in two pantomimes and numerous court cases and has his very own agent/lawyer. Children’s parties, with balloons and knives followed by chase and arrest a speciality.