CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- The Pastries rolled into the Dorie Miller Galley on the morning of Oct. 22 in what was yet another Djibouti First Initiative victory -- a victory that benefits not only service members deployed to Camp Lemonnier, but to the Djiboutian people as well.
U.S. Congress passed legislation in 2014 to give contractual preference to qualified Djiboutian businesses which provide goods and services to Camp Lemonnier. By passing legislation and creating a law which directly benefits businesses, the United States is showing its commitment to be a long-term partner with the people of Djibouti.
Owner of Tom Pouce Bakery, Elefterios Georgalis, personally delivered the first order of 1,000 pastries to the galley. The Installation Food Inspector, Army Sgt. Jereme Beard, took a sample of each batch to ensure the pastries met standards for health and are free from disease or contamination. The pastries made the cut and were served to thousands of service members at CLDJ.
Camp Lemonnier Supply Officer Cmdr. James F. Hormozi said the delivery of pastries was more than just a milestone.
"Tom Pouce is not a very large business, [so] this opens up the potential of more business for them and also the potential to be able to deal with other businesses like it," Hormozi said.
Getting the pastries to the installation was not as easy as just baking them and driving them over. It took months of preparation.
"In April of this year, I met with the French military base's supply officer and asked for a list of companies that support the French military in Djibouti," Hormozi said. "Tom Pouce was one of them. I then visited them with this idea."
While benefitting the local Djiboutian economy through business with the United States, Hormozi realized the pastries were a boost in morale to many service members.
"The goal is to not only help the Djiboutians, but also improve the quality-of-life here for the service members by providing them with products that they are not able to get or are of a higher quality," he said.
Camp Lemonnier provides, operates, and sustains superior service in support of combat readiness along with security of ships and aircraft detachments and personnel for regional and combat command requirements, enabling operations for the Horn of Africa while fostering positive U.S.-African nation relations. Camp Lemonnier enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S. and allied forces in support of Navy Region, Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia's mission to provide services to the fleet, fighter, and family.
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For more news from Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, visit www.navy.mil/local/CAMPL/.