Tricky Thanksgiving logistics for US forces overseas

Napoleon is famous for saying “an army travels on its stomach,” but it’s as true today as it was 200 years ago.

And with American forces scattered all over the world this year, fighting terror in the Middle East and Ebola in Africa, it has an especially poignant feel at Thanksgiving.

According to the Military Times, the U.S. starts planning in the spring for the special food deliveries to service bases abroad that can make a holiday special for troops away from home while serving their country.

“Being away from home during the holidays is tough enough without considering the difficult and dangerous conditions our servicemen and women face. Since they can’t be home for the holidays our employees are dedicated to bringing the holidays to them,” said Bill Addison, a spokesman for Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

Planning so far in advance isn’t always possible, though, when emergencies crop up, like the emergence of Ebola in West Africa this year – and patients showing up in the United States.

Here’s a look at some of the Thanksgiving supplies that have gone around the world to U.S. forces in the field, according to the Military Times.


Turkey: 2,000 lbs.

Cranberry sauce: 300 lbs.

Pies: 500 (apple, cherry, pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato)


Turkey: 600 pounds

Cranberry sauce: 75 pounds

Pies: 200 (apple, cherry, pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato)


Turkey: 48,982 pounds

Beef: 8,750 pounds

Ham: 4,560 pounds

Shrimp: 6,048 pounds

Eggnog: 900 gallons

Pies: 4,000


Turkey: 29,184 pounds

Beef: 31,920 pounds

Ham: 21,660 pounds

Shrimp: 25,650 pounds

Eggnog: 840 gallons

Pies: 6,000

“Contingency operations like our efforts in Iraq, Liberia and Senegal don’t typically give us the usual lead time to ensure we can get holiday meals in place,” Addison told the Military Times.

“But we recognized early on that these operations would most likely extend into the holidays and began checking how we could support the holiday meal requirements.”

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