Thanks to early forecasting and projections from the military services, the Defense Logistics Agency has helped ensure over 370,000 pounds of food have been delivered or are projected to arrive by Thanksgiving eve.
The Subsistence supply chain team at DLA Troop Support typically begins the process by obtaining customer forecasts for their orders in the spring, ensuring warfighters around the world have an opportunity to taste the flavors of traditional holiday meals during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"We call it our Top 40—the Top 40 Thanksgiving items that are ordered," said Navy Capt. Tim Griffin, Subsistence supply chain director.
"We receive order forecasts from the services in the March time frame and relay that information to all of our vendors around the globe, and they begin ordering products to support the meal. Over the next several months, we track delivery of products to the vendors' warehouses. We then take it a step further by tracking every single Defense Department order [that] is placed and delivered just prior to Thanksgiving," he said.
Working far in advance allows the Subsistence supply chain offices the flexibility to deliver reliable solutions even in the event of adjusting for emerging warfighter needs.
“We have a lot of great teammates at Troop Support who are working hard throughout the year to provide for our warfighters both at home and far away—especially during the holidays,” said Army Brig. Gen. Eric Shirley, DLA Troop Support commander.
This year, service members around the world received an estimated:
- 9,155 whole turkeys
- 41,745 pounds of roasted turkeys
- 41,043 pounds of beef
- 23,979 pounds of ham
- 17,884 pounds of shrimp
- 9,009 pounds of sweet potatoes
- 85,971 pounds of pies and cakes
- 2,274 gallons of eggnog
- other holiday treats
Annually, DLA Troop Support supplies U.S. armed forces with over $19 billion worth of food, uniforms, protective equipment, medicine, medical supplies, construction and equipment.
As the nation's combat logistics support agency, DLA has been managing the global supply chain — from raw materials to end-user disposition — for the U.S. military around the world for over 60 years. DLA also leverages its unique capabilities to support the growing, whole-of-government mission with other federal, state and local agencies and partner and allied nations.