Santa, Elves jump for Operation Toy Drop 2018
By Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 18, 2018
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- Santa Claus and his elves delivered toys to children via military freefall and static-line jumps as part of the 7th annual Operation Toy Drop event on Alzey Drop Zone, Germany Dec. 11-13, 2018.
Each day of the operation, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and seven partner nations took off in an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to conduct low-level passes over the drop zone.
Throughout the operation, paratroopers conducted approximately 140 personnel drops each day.
On the final day of the event, the 37th Airlift Squadron dropped several crates of toys while Santa Claus performed a high altitude military freefall jump, and Mrs. Claus and 12 elves performed static-line jumps onto Alzey Drop Zone.
After the jump, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and the elves gave toys to local children from around the Kaiserslautern military community.
“It’s a great way to build our community,” said Maj. Benjamin Wingler, 1st Combat Communications Squadron director of operations and jumpmaster. “It shows that we’re not just here to use the land as the U.S. Army or Air Force, but we’re here to give back to the community.”
The U.S. Army 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company, based at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Germany, hosted the event.
The three-day operation ended with coalition partner jumpmasters presenting their nation’s jump wings to other country’s paratroopers who jumped with them during the week.
“It’s just a great week for building partnership capacity,” Wingler said. “It’s a great training environment that gives back to the community.”