Subsistence supports Peshmerga forces fighting ISIL

By Alex Siemiatkowksi DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq are receiving food items to support their efforts in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, thanks to Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Subsistence.

The Subsistence team and their regional prime vendor Anham are supporting 33,000 Peshmerga troops for nine months with basic food items: three types of beans, tomato paste, rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil and tea.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in April that the U.S. would allot up to $415 million to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces to pay for ammunition, food, salaries and medical equipment in their fight against ISIL. Of this allotment, $20 million was designated for food support.

Carter said the Peshmerga have been one of the most effective fighting forces against ISIL.

"DLA has been a huge asset to the Peshmerga by supporting them," said Army Capt. Chad Brooks, a logistics adviser to the Peshmerga. “Without this assistance, the Pesh would be hindered in their fight against [ISIL].”

The Subsistence team worked closely with Task Force Falcon, the U.S. Army task force responsible for operational and logistical support in Iraq, to coordinate the sourcing, loading and delivery of products.

The Subsistence team also faced a limited amount of time to implement the support. The first food delivery was scheduled during Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims which consists of limited work hours.

The Peshmerga also only accept food from Kurdish companies, so Kurdish truck drivers had to be found to transport deliveries. And the food has to be manually unloaded because they don’t have the equipment to palletize products.

The second delivery consisted of 33 trucks that carried approximately 1.7 million pounds of product into the Peshmerga warehouse July 24-28.

For their effort, the Subsistence OCONUS prime vendor team was named DLA Troop Support’s Team of the Quarter for their commitment and service to the customer and to the warfighters.