How do you plan Thanksgiving dinner for 180,000 people more than 6,000 miles away? If you're a food buyer at the Defense Logistics Agency, you start by making a shopping list in April for meals to be served to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Providing superb meals to our U.S. troops is a critical mission of the Defense Logistics Agency, and one we put a great deal of effort into," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott Chambers commander of the DLA Philadelphia field activity, which provides all the food for U.S. military personnel worldwide, 365 days a year.
"It's very important to us to give our troops a taste of home during the holidays, so we start planning the traditional Thanksgiving meal even before Memorial Day rolls around," Chambers said.
DLA employees in the Philadelphia-based subsistence supply chain start their Thanksgiving meal planning this early to make sure that food items and ingredients will arrive overseas in time for the holiday. Many ingredients for the meals are on hand at prime vendor locations by September, and bigger dining facilities start receiving high-volume items, such as turkeys and large beef roasts, in October.
Whoah! 225,980 pounds of turkey! This is amazing. I'm so glad to see our troops get a great Thanksgiving dinner. I wish they could all be home with their families, but this has to be the next best thing. As you can imagine, the logistics of giving the soldiers a Thanksgiving meal is quite the task. Luckily, tradition is something the Military believes strongly in. Happy Thanks giving to all our troops and come home safe!
Read the Full Story