Amid the formula crisis in the United States, a military plan that brought in over half a million baby bottles' worth of specialty formula came in from Europe on Sunday and arrived in Indianapolis. This is the first of several flights that the U.S. is expecting in an effort to relieve an unprecedented formula shortage in the country.

The military operation was called "Operation Fly Formula" and President Joe Biden authorized the use of military Air Force Planes to bring the formula over. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that there no commercial flights available for the 78,000 pounds of formula and it was important to get it to the U.S. however we could.

Tom Vilsack is the U.S. Agriculture Secretary and was in Indianapolis, IN for the arrival of the first shipment.

Brian Deese is the director of the White House National Economic Council. He said the goal of the Operation's flights is to bring some incremental relief to moms in upcoming days, while the White House works on a longer-term plan to respond to the shortage.

Deese said in CNN's "State of the Union" that people should see more formula in stores as early as this week, including 15% of the specialty medical grade formula moms in the U.S. use and need.

In the future, he believes the U.S. needs more formula providers so there is not one individual company that is so affected and has so much control over supply chains. (You think? Emphasis OURS)

The formula shortage is tied to the closing of the country's largest domestic manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan--Abbott Laboratories. The facility was closed due to safety concerns and recalls after four babies became sick and two died--with the formulas being linked in an investigation.

The shipment included 132 pallets of Nestle Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula while another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula is expected to come in the next few days. These formulas are considered hypoallergenic for children who have cow's milk protein allergies, and for those moms with those babies, finding formula has been terrifying.

Indianapolis is already a Nestle distribution hub and a natural place to do quality control checks before distributing to hospitals, doctor's offices and pharmacies.

In a statement, Nestle said,

“We have significantly increased the amount of our formulas available to consumers by ramping up production and accelerating general product availability to retailers and online, as well as through hospitals and home health care for those most vulnerable. At Nestle, we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to get parents and caregivers the formula they need so their children can thrive. We prioritized these products because they serve a critical medical purpose as they are for children with cow’s milk protein allergies.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration eased importation requirements for baby formula to help with the shortage, and according to Abbot Nutrition, the Michigan facilities are expected to reopen next week. It will take about two months before the formula is ready for delivery, however, so in the meantime, it sadly looks like baby formula is still going to be tough to find for a while.