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The first shipment of infant formula from Europe to arrive in Indiana this weekend on a military plane

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first infant formula flights from Europe, authorized by President Joe Biden to ease a growing shortage in the United States, will arrive in Indiana this weekend aboard military aircraft, the White House announced on Friday.

The White House says 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formulas will leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany and arrive in the United States this weekend. Another 114 Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula palettes are expected to arrive in the coming days. A total of about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are hypoallergenic for children with cow’s milk protein allergies, will arrive this week.

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While Biden initially asked the Pentagon to use commercial charter planes to move the formula from Europe to the United States, the White House said no commercial flights were available this weekend. Instead, US Air Force planes will carry the first batch of formula.

The Biden administration has dubbed the effort “Operation Fly Formula” as it works to address nationwide shortages of formulas, especially hypoallergenic varieties, after the nation’s largest domestic manufacturing plant closed in February in due to security issues.

US regulators and manufacturer Abbott hope this Michigan plant will reopen next week, but it will take about two months before the product is ready for delivery. The Food and Drug Administration eased infant formula import requirements this week to try to ease the supply shortage, which has left store shelves empty of some brands and some retailers rationing supplies for parents nervous about feeding their children.