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Flying milkman: US airlifts emergency dairy supplies to Qatar Open in fullscreen

Karim Traboulsi

Flying milkman: US airlifts emergency dairy supplies to Qatar

Cattle class: cows will be parachuted in to save Qatar from a milk shortage [AFP]

Date of publication: 28 June, 2017

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Blog: The US Air Force became a milkman on wings this month as a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar caused a shortage of dairy products at an American airbase.
The US Air Force became a milkman on wings this month as a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar caused a shortage of dairy products at an American airbase in the country.

Over the past two weeks, the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron delivered 13 large containers filled with milk packs to Al Udeid airbase, "in anything that had capacity to airlift it over", Lieutenant Colonel Kim Jennings told Military.com.

The 380th oversees food supplies for US military personnel. According to Military.com, the supplies consisted of ultra-high-temperature processed milk with a long shelf life.

The report said milk was the only item the base, which is home to around 10,000 American military personnel, has requested due to shortages.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and their allies began a blockade of Qatar, closing air, land and sea links with the small Gulf nation. The move initially hit food supplies, particularly dairy products usually sourced via Saudi Arabia.

Qatar has since been able to find alternative suppliers in Turkey and Iran. 

Some in Qatar have sought to think outside the box to resolve the problem. Moutaz Al Khayyat, a Qatari businessman, is reportedly planning to airlift a herd of four thousand cows to produce milk in the Gulf state.

Transporting the cows could take as many as 60 Qatar Airways flights from the US and Australia, where he bought the cows, according to Newsweek.

Khayyat said he had already made plans to bring the cows to Qatar by sea but the Gulf rift made him accelerate the move. His company's production of fresh milk at a farm north of Doha will now begin at the end of June, as opposed to September as originally scheduled.

"This is the time to work for Qatar," Khayyat said. 

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