Holidays in the military: How the Navy is spending Thanksgiving

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS)- With thousands of Sailors away from home, the Navy is working overtime to supply those serving across the world with a Thanksgiving meal.

GULF OF OMAN (Nov. 24, 2016) Petty Officer 2nd Class Mitchell Reed, right, cuts slices of turkey for Petty Officer 3rd Class Kelby Maynor for a Thanksgiving dinner aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61). Monterey, deployed as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class William Jenkins/Released)

Leading the effort to provide Sailors a holiday meal is the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP), which provides supplies, services and quality of life support to the Navy.

NAVSUP, which is based out of Meachnicburg, Pennsylvania, also helps Naval operations by running food services, postal services, the Navy Exchange and at this time of year helps provide holiday meals.

“Every Thanksgiving our culinary specialists take on the huge task of feeding our Sailors, and every year they succeed,” said NAVSUP Director of Navy Food Service Cmdr. Scott Wilson.

This year the Navy is planing to serve in all:

Shrimp Cocktail – 9,000 lbs.;

Roast Turkey – 89,350 lbs.;

Baked Ham – 24,430 lbs.;

Sweet Potatoes – 18,000 lbs.;

Mashed Potatoes – 31,304 lbs.;

Stuffing – 17,200 lbs.;

Gravy – 1,800 gal.;

Green Bean Casserole – 8,000 lbs.;

Corn on Cob – 7,200 lbs.;

Cranberry Sauce – 6,100 lbs.;

Egg Nog – 2,200 gal.;

Assorted Pies – 5,800 per galley.

Serving a combined total of 220,384 pounds of food can be difficult, but Cmdr. Wilson believes that the mission at hand for NAVSUP keeps them focused.

“Being away from family and friends during this time of year isn’t easy, but that motivates our Culinary Specialists to provide a quality meal to our Sailors. The joy we see on Sailors’ faces makes all of the effort worth it,” says Wilson.

Thanksgiving Day will be observed as a federal holiday for most Department of the Navy personnel Thursday, Nov. 23, but it could be different for some serving around the world.