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Agency Provides Holiday Meals to Deployed Troops

American Forces Press Service

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 22, 2009 – It may not be Mom’s home cooking, but the Defense Logistics Agency is making sure deployed troops eat a meal that tastes just as good.

Thousands of troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan won’t be able to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones. But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy some of their favorite holiday foods, such as ham, sweet potatoes and pies and cakes. As in years past, DLA will bring a bit of the holidays to deployed U.S. troops as they dine on a traditional holiday meal.

“It is important that we continue to provide outstanding meals to our troops every single day,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott D. Chambers, commander of the DLA field activity here, which is responsible for providing food to U.S. military personnel stationed throughout the world. “When it comes to the holidays, DLA personnel take special pride to make sure every deployed servicemember will dine on a traditional meal, bringing a bit of home to warfighters.”

The preparation for the troops’ holiday meal begins in April.

“Fluctuations in troops and demands make overseas support more challenging, so advanced planning is critical for the highest levels of support,” said Navy Capt. Ed Rackauskas, director of DLA’s subsistence directorate. “No matter where troops are stationed, they can rest assured that DLA will provide the best possible holiday meal.”

The process to order the right amount of food is a coordinated effort between DLA and each military service branch. Once the requirements are determined, DLA works closely with its contractors, also called prime vendors, to provide the necessary quantities to feed thousands of people.

“We want to go the extra mile to make sure the troops' subsistence needs are met,” Rackauskas said. “It gives people at DLA great pride to know they are bringing a little piece of home to the warfighters worldwide.”

Here are the quantities and dollar amounts for feeding the troops in Iraq during this holiday season:

-- Whole turkey, raw and precooked: 63,028 pounds, $207,286.92;

-- White turkey meat: 66,960 pounds, $359,575.20;

-- Dark turkey meat: 67,440 pounds, $217,156.80;

-- Ham: 60,780 pounds, $201,581.70;

-- Beef: 23,954 pounds, $128,665.40;

-- Shrimp: 35,280 pounds, $220,852.80;

-- Stuffing mix: 20,580 pounds, $57,222.20;

-- Potatoes: 38,200 pounds, $94,188.72;

-- Sweet potatoes: 8,814 cans, $55,234.40;

-- Corn and green beans: 58,931 pounds, $80,073.80;

-- Cranberry sauce, 4,410 cans, $32,178.30;

-- Pies: 24,906, $226,665.08; and

-- Cakes: 15,464, $217,443.76;

The total cost for Iraq is about $2.1 million.

Here’s the breakdown for Afghanistan:

-- Whole turkey, raw and precooked: 48,804 pounds, $117,605.88;

-- White turkey meat: 2,832 pounds, $13,508.64;

-- Dark turkey meat: 67,440 pounds, $217,156.80;

-- Ham: 22,950 pounds, $61,276.50;

-- Beef: 113,462 pounds, $522,080.53;

-- Shrimp: 35,280 pounds, $220,852.80;

-- Stuffing mix: 12,348 pounds, $28,141.68;

-- Potatoes: 23,814 pounds, $19,815.60;

-- Sweet potatoes: 3,529 cans, $15,494.12;

-- Vegetables: 45,706 pounds, $21,477.65;

-- Cranberry sauce: 4,410 cans, $32,178.30;

-- Pies: 24,906, $126,896; and

-- Cakes: 2,824, $46,243.

The total cost for Afghanistan is $1.2 million.

(From a Defense Logistics Agency news release.)

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