December 08, 2021
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More Ham, Sweet Potatoes and Desserts: The Food US Troops Will Devour This Thanksgiving

U.S. troops historically eat extra roast beef on Thanksgiving than some other entrée, however this yr they will get double the ham and candy potatoes and thrice the desserts than final yr — will increase that sign the celebration “ought to look extra regular” than it did in 2020, based on Protection Division officers.

The Protection Logistics Company, or DLA, is dispatching 192 tons of vacation meals to eating services, ship galleys and subject kitchens within the U.S. and around the globe this yr, up 47% from final yr’s pandemic provisions.

For the primary time in 20 years, the DLA is not going to be transport vacation rations to Afghanistan.

This yr the menu, based on the company, will embody 99,187 kilos of roast beef, up from 74,000 final yr, and 59,666 kilos of roast turkey, up from 51,000.

It additionally will embody 51,994 kilos of ham — almost 31,000 greater than was shipped final yr.

“The vacation meal ought to look extra regular this yr, with in-person eating returning in lots of places,” Military Brig. Gen. Eric Shirley, commander of DLA Troop Help, mentioned in a press launch. “I’m so pleased with the workforce right here at Troop Help. They work tirelessly for months to verify this meal occurs.”

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Provide chain points have made getting the vacation meals to service members trickier this yr, based on the DLA, however officers say the meals ought to be there in time for the feasts.

“We’re at present coping with the identical provide points that the industrial trade is coping with,” mentioned Robin Whaley, chief of buyer operations for Troop Help’s Subsistence within the continental United States. “Now we have been working with our distributors nicely prematurely of the vacation to cut back possibilities that the mandatory gadgets will not be obtainable on the large day.”

The DLA oversees the annual vacation meal shipments and is chargeable for distributing provides to Military, Navy, Air Pressure, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Protection Division installations worldwide.

Planning for this Thanksgiving started in early March — again when the pandemic gave the impression to be in retreat within the U.S., earlier than the Delta variant struck and labor shortages and international transport slowdowns had a lot of an impression on the provision chain.

Protection officers have relied closely on their relationships with distributors and associate businesses to make sure that troops get a style of dwelling this week, they mentioned.

“Thanksgiving is without doubt one of the most vital meals we work on all yr,” mentioned Col. Larry Dean, director of the Subsistence provide chain at DLA Troop Help. “As a proud member of the Military who has loved these meals once I couldn’t be dwelling with my household, it means a lot to have that style of dwelling on Thanksgiving when you’ll be able to’t be there.”

This yr, service members with a candy tooth will be capable of gorge themselves on 68,465 kilos of desserts and pies, triple what was shipped final yr.

Additionally they will probably be despatched:

  • 43,767 kilos of shrimp, down from 67,000 in 2020
  • 38,400 kilos of candy potatoes, greater than double final yr’s complete
  • 23,461 gallons of eggnog, up from 7,000

The provides have been despatched to chow halls within the U.S., in addition to eating services for troops within the Center East, Europe, Africa, South Korea, Japan, Qatar, the Philippines, Guam, Singapore and elsewhere.

— Patricia Kime might be reached at [email protected]. Observe her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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