Defense Logistics Agency Feeds U.S. Troops For the Holidays
U.S. military service members deployed away from home will still enjoy a hearty Christmas meal, with all the trimmings, thanks to the efforts of Defense Logistics Agency troop support subsistence efforts.
More than 31,000 pounds of beef, 21,000 pounds of ham, 29,000 pounds of turkey, 840 gallons of eggnog and 6,000 pies are already on hand to feed American service members in Afghanistan on Christmas Day, said Anthony Amendolia, customer operations chief for Europe and the Middle East region.
"Wherever our nation's military are serving around the world, DLA Troop Support is committed to providing quality, nutritious and delicious meals to them," Amendolia said. "If they can't be home for the holidays, we'll bring the holidays to them."
For service members deployed to locations in the Middle East, more than 10,000 pounds of beef, 4,500 pounds of ham and 39,000 pounds of turkey are on hand for the holiday celebration. They will also enjoy more than 4,000 pies and 900 gallons of eggnog to wash it all down, he said.
More than 2,100 pounds of turkey and 700 pies have been delivered to U.S. military members deployed to West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance.
While Subsistence typically starts planning to ship holiday meal items six months in advance, military operations in Iraq and West Africa haven't allowed for such a time frame. In order to meet those requirements, DLA airlifted the Christmas meal items from the United States into those locations.
Subsistence employees are already working to ensure military members will be able to celebrate other important events in the near future, to include the Super Bowl, Easter and Passover, Amendolia said.
"While we try to ensure our military members get a great meal every time they go to the dining facility, we're committed to making sure they're not forgotten during those key holidays," he said.
The agency's Troop Support unit supplies America's armed forces with $13 billion annually of food, uniforms, protective equipment, medicine and medical supplies, repair parts and construction and equipment.
As U.S. Department of Defense combat support agency, DLA provides the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps along with other federal agencies such as FEMA and NASA and joint and allied forces. It is headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va.