DLA delivers Thanksgiving meals to troops overseas
By Shawn J. Jones
DLA Troop Support Public Affairs
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Air Force Col. Aaron Steffens, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing vice commander, serves Thanksgiving meals to service members at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, in 2013. Each year, Subsistence supply chain professionals at the Defense Logistics Agency ensure American service members around the world are able to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21, 2017 —
The Defense Logistics Agency doesn’t let geography get in the way of ensuring U.S. troops deployed overseas get a taste of home for Thanksgiving.
DLA sent more than 200,000 pounds of traditional Thanksgiving food to field kitchens, dining facilities and galleys throughout the Middle East and other parts of the U.S. Central Command.
Robin Whaley, who works with DLA Troop Support’s Subsistence supply chain in Philadelphia, said it takes a lot of coordination and attention to detail to make sure deployed service members get the Thanksgiving meal they deserve. The planning begins in March and the work continues until the last deliveries are made.
“I am grateful and feel honored and blessed knowing I was personally involved in the process of providing Thanksgiving support to the warfighter,” Whaley said. “If we can bring a little taste of home to the warfighter and put a smile on their faces, we have done our job.”
The effort is appreciated by Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Erika Kelly, who as the command chief of Air Force Reserve Command, is the Reserve’s most senior-ranking enlisted airman.
"During this Thanksgiving, nearly 6,000 Air Force Reservists are serving on active duty worldwide in support of combatant commanders and other agencies and major commands," Kelly said. "It means a lot to our deployed Reserve citizen airmen who are away from their families and friends to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal with their Air Force family."
Some of the food that DLA Troop Support provided for service members deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait include:
- 98,820 pounds of turkey
- 47,880 pounds of beef
- 31,650 pounds of ham
- 30,384 pounds of shrimp
- 3,110 gallons of grape juice
- 918 gallons of eggnog
- 6,288 pies
- 9,378 cakes (which includes 382 cheese cakes)
The Subsistence team worked with regional vendors across the globe to provide Thanksgiving food items to Navy ships at sea and to service members at the following locations: Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Korea, Okinawa, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and various locations in Europe and Africa.