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The supply chain shortage that is plaguing much of the country has also hit the Commissions of Defense, where many troops and their families own a grocery store, making the situation even more dire for those living in some overseas locations.
“My son’s consumption of milk is not healthy for him mentally or physically,” a military spouse based in Japan’s Yokota Air Base told LBL Digital on Thursday. “He needs milk for the nutrients it provides. It’s also heartbreaking to say I can’t give him milk because I don’t have to give him. A mother shouldn’t have these conversations with her children.”
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Photos sent to LBL by the Yokota Air Base Commissary show that many shelves are empty, with residents complaining that the meat and dairy sections are particularly troubled.
Yokota Air Base did not immediately respond to LBL’ request for comment.
Kadena Air Base, Japan suffers from similar problems, with an Air Force spouse Telling stars and stripes His family simply couldn’t make tacos because of the lack of dairy options.
“The Kadena Commissary is lacking in supplies, and we want tacos tonight,” Air Force spouse Valerie Jackson told the outlet. “My husband went the other day and said there was nothing left like milk, sour cream, cheese.”
Some establishments in Japan have warned service members not to expect the situation to change at any time.
“For the immediate future, don’t expect our commissary compartments to be stocked at the level we used to be.” Read Facebook PoseThrough Camp Kinser, Japan, on Tuesday, he said, “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to the community, but they are doing everything to get the product off the shelves.”
But establishments in Japan are not the only places that face a shortage of groceries, and service members based in Italy, Germany and Alaska submit photos of empty store shelves on their commissions on social media.
The problem has reached the US mainland, with members serving at Washington’s Fairchild Air Force Base submitting photos detailing the lack of products.
There is a shortage Reported in grocery stores nationwide In recent weeks, supply chains have been plagued by an epidemic, winter weather and a shortage of workers.
Kevin L. Klein, spokesman for the Defense Commissary Agency; Robinson acknowledged in an email that the epidemic is contributing to supply chain disruptions in military commissaries worldwide.
He cited a number of factors, including lack of industry workers, lack of product, port congestion and the unique complexity of delivering supplies to military facilities overseas. The range of products is scarce, but the meat is in good supply, he said.
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Robinson said the agency is “doing everything possible for us” to address the shortfall and prioritizes meeting commissions overseas.
“We are diligently monitoring overseas inventory levels on a daily basis, working with our suppliers to significantly increase filling rates,” he said. “With all of our stores experiencing stress, our store directors, zoning managers and officials in our area have been working with installation leadership teams to inform them of our efforts to keep products on our store shelves in high demand.”
Brian Dees, director of the National Economic Council Acknowledged the problems Facing supply chains at a press conference on Wednesday, the administration told reporters that it was working to “unstick supply chain elements,” but tried to shift the focus to what they call “historically strong economic growth.”
Dees said price increases and supply chain issues were happening around the world as a result of the epidemic, but expressed optimism that the US was making “significant progress” in this regard.
But those shortages can be an even bigger problem when it affects military commissaries, where service members rely on stores to buy American staples overseas for a reduced price and without taxes.
Kalani Patsell, manager of the commissary zone in Okinawa, Japan, told Stars and Stripes that getting the products to service members overseas is a top priority for the Defense Commissary Agency.
“There are situations where we don’t have an item in stock for whatever reason,” Patsell said. “However, I assure you that we are doing our best to try and get the customer’s needs as soon as possible.”