The inaugural dinner aboard the Navy’s newest guided-missile destroyer included 160 pounds of lobster tails that were delivered just in time, thanks to the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Subsistence team.
The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) May 20 at the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine. The 610-foot-long Zumwalt is the lead ship of the Navy’s next generation of multi-mission surface combatants.
A few weeks before the ship delivery, Subsistence received an order request for about 20 items, most of which were delivered. However, the Subsistence prime vendor did not have the requested lobster tails.
The Subsistence team reached out to other vendors throughout New England to locate sources with the sufficient quantities and sizes of lobster.
“We were exploring all routes,” said Amanda Holzerman, the tailored vendor logistics specialist overseeing the order. “I even told them (the Zumwalt crew), ‘if you can’t get it through us, you might have to go to a farmers market.’”
When contract specialist Timothy Davis contacted a Subsistence vendor in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, he talked to a father whose son had just joined the Navy. The vendor had the requested lobster tails and was going to be able to fill the order.
“He is a proud Navy dad willing to help out,” Davis said.
The Subsistence team then had to work out how to get the lobster tails from Pennsylvania to Maine. The vendor had another customer about an hour from Bath Iron Works. So a meeting was arranged at an Old Country Buffet parking lot where Navy food service personnel picked up the lobster tails from the vendor.
The lobster tails were delivered aboard the Zumwalt and thawed out just in time for the inaugural dinner preparations.
Following a crew certification period and October commissioning ceremony in Baltimore, the Zumwalt will transit to its homeport in San Diego, according to the Navy.