Vodka is already grain alcohol and water. Essentially Ripper's solution to avoiding Commie fluids is to make his own.
Why did the survival kit contain such seemingly random items as chewing gum, prophylactics, and stockings? Because at least some of the included items were intended to be bartered for help from the locals.
There were already Roubles and gold in the kit for this purpose also.
The fact prophylactics have been used in surival kits for emergency water storage might also have something to do with it.
Stockings can also be used to filter air or water at need. As far as barter, if they're far enough out in the sticks or things have been so wrecked as to make money useless (altogether likely) being able to offer valuable goods in exchange for aid is a very good position to be in.
Bat Guano is laughably stupid, but his own imbecility about everything being related to "preversion" makes him right in a meta-sense, Kubrick made a movie where war —and almost everything else— is related to sex, as described in main under Freud Was Right.
Each plane is 2 hours from target at fail safe point. The order for the 23rd airborne to move in and get General Ripper wasn't issued until at least 40 minutes into that 2 hours. Especially considering it wasn't last minute recall. Going by the big board and time shown of Major Kong's plane after the code was issued, it was issued with at least 15 minutes to spare. More if you consider Major Kong went to a target of opportunity and not his primary. In anycase the 23rd airborne was somehow able to recieve and relay the order, wake up the units 3 in the morning, get ready, pack in trucks, drive 7 miles into an ambush, then fight their way to the air base command post for Colonel Bat Guano to get Mandrake on the phone in an hour or less. The air field defense force must be the worst and the 23rd airborne must be the most efficient and badass army unit ever.
Air Police are precisely that: a police force, lightly-equipped. They're very good at what they do but against dedicated infantry they're fighting out of their weight.
During the skirmish, it also doesn't look like 3 or 4 in the morning either.
It's 3 am in Washington when the movie starts, but we don't know where the AF base is supposed to be.
The base is supposed to be in the U.K., which would make it about 7:00 AM. Keep in mind the latitude will affect how light or dark it is outside as well.