Story by Nick Taborek
The U.S. military’s shift in focus to Afghanistan from Iraq has meant more obstacles in what is an annual ritual for the Pentagon: the delivery of Thanksgiving dinner to deployed troops and support staff.
Afghanistan’s rugged terrain means about a quarter of the 160,000 traditional turkey, stuffing and sweet potato meals served in the country will have to be airlifted from dining halls to remote troop locations on Thanksgiving Day, said Rich Faso, a Defense Logistics Agency director of supply chain operations.
The military’s bill for the Afghanistan Thanksgiving meals is an estimated $1.5 million. Altogether, it costs $4 million to deliver the holiday menu, which also features rib eye steaks, shrimp, eggnog and pies, to deployed troops in all three countries for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to statistics provided by the Defense Logistics Agency, the military’s worldwide supplier.
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