Although they are thousands of miles from their homes, America’s military members won’t miss the tastes and smells of a hearty Thanksgiving this week.
Preparations for providing 244,000 pounds of turkey, 8,600 cans of sweet potatoes and more than 38,000 pies began in the early spring. By now, dining facilities and other distribution points throughout Iraq and Afghanistan have received the food to be eaten at Thanksgiving meals. In all, about 225 locations are serviced.
“Providing traditional holiday meals to these American heroes is one of the single most important things we do all year,” said Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott Chambers. “It is an expression of our thanks and appreciation for what they are doing for America every day.”
DLA expects to serve meals to more than 48,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and more than 95,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as well as thousands of allied troops and U.S. contractors working in those locations.
DLA Troop Support, headquartered in Philadelphia, has a team of 10 men and women dedicated to guaranteeing that deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines experience a memorable dinner each Thanksgiving.
As the Department of Defense’s combat logistics support agency, DLA provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services. The agency sources and provides nearly 100 percent of the consumable items America’s military forces need to operate, from food, fuel and energy, to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies more than 80 percent of the military’s spare parts.
Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., DLA has about 27,000 employees worldwide and supports about 1,700 weapon systems.