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Movie Snacks En Route to Pacific Fleet

By American Forces Press Service

Military Sealift Command civilian mariner Capt. Robert Holley, master of ammunition ship USNS Flint, checks the inventory list of popcorn cases. More than 2,500 cases of popcorn were shipped to the Flint as part of Operation Popcorn. The program is a gift donation by the Boy Scouts of America, the Support the Troops organization, and the Weaver Popcorn Company of Indiana. Cases of popcorn will be shipped to sailors and Marines aboard Navy ships around the world. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Maebel Tinoko

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2007 - When a Military Sealift Command ship that routinely delivers ordnance to Navy ships makes its next delivery, the Pacific Fleet should be set for a movie marathon.

As part of “Operation Popcorn,” the ammunition ship USNS Flint will distribute 250,000 bags of donated microwavable popcorn.

“I am only too happy to be able to support this operation,” said civilian mariner Capt. Robert C. Holley, master of the Flint. The ship’s civilian mariners will deliver the buttery treats in addition to its already-planned cargo of ammunition.

The Flint, which supports the Pacific Fleet, also will pass a portion of its edible cargo to other Military Sealift Command ships. Those ships will, in turn, deliver it to thousands of sailors and Marines aboard other Navy ships around the world.

Several groups, including Boy Scouts of America and the Support Our Troops organization, worked together to bring the popcorn to the fleet. Weaver Popcorn Co., in Indiana, donated the 3,000 cases of popcorn, worth nearly $70,000.

The snacks, along with the ammunition, were loaded at Naval Magazine Indian Island, Wash., July 20 and 21. The cases of butter-, butter light- and kettle corn-flavored popcorn that each ship will receive are scheduled to be delivered over a three-week period.

The Defense Logistics Agency considers transportation requests for donated goods of this kind. Requests can’t be accommodated unless space is available and operations aren’t affected, officials said.

Flint and other Military Sealift Command civilian-mariner crewed ships provide ammunition, fuel, food, spare parts and other supplies to Navy ships at sea. Military Sealift Command operates about 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish Navy ships, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea, and move military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.

Editor’s Note: To find out about more individuals, groups and organizations that are helping support the troops, visit www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil. The Defense Department’s America Supports You program connects military members to the support of the America people and offers a tool to the general public in their quest to find meaningful ways to support the military community.

(From a U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command news release.)