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Agency Delivers Thanksgiving Meals to Warfighters

Thanks to early forecasting and projections from the military services, the Defense Logistics Agency has helped ensure over 370,000 pounds of food have been delivered or are projected to arrive by Thanksgiving eve.

A  service member takes a tray with three pecan pies from a rack containing other pies
Pecan Pie Prep
Air Force Airman 1st Class Bianca Hrynciw, a services specialist with the 127th Force Support Squadron, prepares dessert for a Thanksgiving-style dinner for members of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., Nov. 5, 2022. Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support sent food to service members around the world for Thanksgiving.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Samara Taylor, Air National Guard
VIRIN: 221105-Z-YW189-0025C

The subsistence supply chain team at DLA Troop Support typically begins the process by obtaining customer forecasts for their orders in the spring, ensuring warfighters around the world have an opportunity to taste the flavors of traditional holiday meals during Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

"We call it our Top 40—the Top 40 Thanksgiving items that are ordered," said Navy Capt. Tim Griffin, subsistence supply chain director.   

"We receive order forecasts from the services in the March time frame and relay that information to all of our vendors around the globe, and they begin ordering products to support the meal. Over the next several months, we track delivery of products to the vendors' warehouses. We then take it a step further by tracking every single Defense Department order [that] is placed and delivered just prior to Thanksgiving," he said. 

A service member holds a fried turkey upside down with a lifting hook as another service member leans forward with a roasting pan.
Turkey Prep
Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian Munson, left, and Air Force Airman 1st Class Zachary Jepsen finish cooking a turkey for a Thanksgiving meal for dorm residents at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Nov. 17, 2022. Munson is Holloman’s 5/6 Council president; Jepsen is a heating, ventilating and air conditioning apprentice with the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class Corinna Diaz
VIRIN: 221117-F-NB682-1025C

Working far in advance allows the subsistence supply chain offices the flexibility to deliver reliable solutions even in the event of adjusting for emerging warfighter needs. 

This year, service members around the world received an estimated: 

  • 9,155 whole turkeys 
  • 41,745 pounds of roasted turkeys 
  • 41,043 pounds of beef 
  • 23,979 pounds of ham 
  • 17,884 pounds of shrimp 
  • 9,009 pounds of sweet potatoes 
  • 85,971 pounds of pies and cakes 
  • 2,274 gallons of eggnog 
  • other holiday treats 

Annually, DLA Troop Support supplies U.S. armed forces with over $19 billion worth of food, uniforms, protective equipment, medicine, medical supplies, construction and equipment. 

A service member works at a meat slicer.
Slicing Meat
Air Force Airman 1st Class Shyla Hudson slices meat for a Thanksgiving-style dinner for members of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mich., Nov. 5, 2022. Hudson is a services specialist with the 127th Force Support Squadron.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Samara Taylor, Air National Guard
VIRIN: 221105-Z-YW189-0350A

As the nation's combat logistics support agency, DLA has been managing the global supply chain — from raw materials to end-user disposition — for the U.S. military around the world for over 60 years. DLA also leverages its unique capabilities to support the growing, whole-of-government mission with other federal, state and local agencies and partner and allied nations. 

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