HomeNewsArticle Display

Operation Christmas Drop begins at Guam

Military and civilian leaders push a box onto a C-130 Hercules during the 2016 Operation Christmas Drop Push Ceremony Dec. 6, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. This year the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Air Force and U.S. Air Force worked together to continue the tradition of air dropping tools, food, clothing and toys throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jacob Skovo)

Military and civilian leaders push a box onto a C-130 Hercules during the 2016 Operation Christmas Drop Push Ceremony Dec. 6, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. This year the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Air Force and U.S. Air Force worked together to continue the tradition of air dropping tools, food, clothing and toys throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jacob Skovo)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFNS) -- Military members from the U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy, with international support from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force are joining forces to airdrop and deliver donated toys, clothes, food items and other necessities to remote islands across the Pacific Ocean as part of Operation Christmas Drop 2016.

The annual training mission officially kicked off during a ceremony Dec. 6 at Andersen Air Force Base, where military leaders across the island pushed the first pallet of donated goods into a C-130 Hercules.

“I’m proud that Andersen is hosting Operation Christmas Drop,” said Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox, the 36th Wing commander. “I am happy to welcome our partners from Australia and Japan, it is wonderful to have you with us this holiday season.”

C-130s from the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan; RAAF; and Japan Air Self-Defense Force will be flying over the Pacific to airdrop goods to the islanders. More than 45 airmen are participating from both the RAAF and the JASDF.

Sixty-five years in the running, Christmas Drop is the Defense Department’s longest-running humanitarian airlift operation. The tradition began during the Christmas season in 1952 when a B-29 Superfortress aircrew saw islanders waving at them from the island of Kapingamarangi, 3,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. In the spirit of Christmas the aircrew dropped a bundle of supplies attached to a parachute to the islanders below, giving the operation its name. This year brings together three nations, three corporate sponsors and three U.S. military branches. Today, airdrop operations include more than 50 islands and thousands of people.

“It feels great to give back no matter what background you come from,” said Capt. Aaron Bowens, from the 734th Air Mobility Squadron and an Operation Christmas Drop organizer. “It’s also a great training opportunity because everything we do now for the drops is useful in the real world.”

More than 11 months of planning and preparing went into the operation, Bowens said. The Operation Christmas Drop volunteers at Andersen AFB and Yokota AB raised more than $52,000 from fundraisers and collected more than $20,000 in donated goods to aid in the humanitarian mission.

Military and civilian volunteers loaded 30,000 to 40,000 pounds of clothes, rice, fishhooks and other necessities into large-capacity boxes, before Airmen weighed and secured the boxes in preparation for delivery.

Twenty-two sorties are scheduled to be flown, covering more than 50 islands, where 140 boxes of donated goods will be dropped.

Even though military cargo aircraft are much louder than Santa’s sleigh, they are just as ready to bring joy to the island families.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
“On a daily basis we are involved with creativity, adventure & challenge,” @4CTCS Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg.… https://t.co/GpzjDqoQup
RT @AirmanMagazine: Getting help to the right location for land rescues in the aftermath of a major hurricane falls to the @usairforce Resc…
#B2 Spirit, a combination of #stealth & advanced avionics. #ThisWeekinHistory https://t.co/Bd7OrB3bbb
RT @AF_WSOC: 👀 who popped up with the big dogs on TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 40 Ranked Recruiting Classes for 2019! Excited to have these fresh…
For saving two fellow wingmen while deployed in Afghanistan, Tech. Sgt. Nick Torres received two bronze star medals… https://t.co/83bcAvqCxG
RT @DefenceHQ: Today the various NATO aircraft flypast at #RIAT19 to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO! Since its creation, NATO has been…
The @DeptofDefense has partnered with the @DeptVetAffairs to implement the first Women's Health Transition Training… https://t.co/JUTFicsXDw
⚡️ “Apollo 11 50th anniversary” https://t.co/GSeJYz6wPJ
The 413th Flight Test Sq. @TeamEglin successfully conducted the 1st #USAF piloted flight of the #HH60W Combat Rescu… https://t.co/wTyTtcmZjv
Jetting into the weekend like... #F16 https://t.co/wEWD7vr476
.@AstroHague showing his #USAF pride during the anniversary week of the #Apollo50 landing. @ISS_Researchhttps://t.co/WdgCFDmz6f
'Only two of us were not shot or dying': #USAF #Airman receives Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan heroism… https://t.co/IdmKq8gtDx
RT @AFResearchLab: Dr. Lisa Rueschhoff was one of 82 engineers chosen to attend @theNAEng 2019 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium! Sh…
RT @ActingSecAF: .@GenDaveGoldfein is bolstering partners & #allies across Europe, discussing how we can be #StrongerTogether in air, #spac
Annual recovery efforts have helped to identify 40 of the 52 service members lost when a C-124 crashed into Mount G… https://t.co/fdHUY2IATf
8 of the surviving #Apollo #Astronauts got together for the 50th anniversary of the #moonlanding. @NASAhttps://t.co/szPJHXupa1
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Gen. Goldfein, during his keynote address at the 2019 Chief of the Air Staff's Air and Space Power Conference said the follo…
.@WrightPattAFB opened a #cyberdefense facility for #USAF Life Cycle Management Center's Fighters & Bombers Directo… https://t.co/QibdORLX2q