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News > Operation Christmas Drop delivers supplies to Pacific islands
Operation Christmas Drop delivers supplies to Pacific islands

Posted 10/10/2007   Updated 10/11/2007 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Carissa Morgan
36th Wing Public Affairs


10/10/2007 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Operation Christmas Drop, the longest-running humanitarian airlift in the world, will deliver supplies to more than 50 remote Pacific Islands in December. 

These remote islands have little to no outside contact and supplies, other than what Operation Christmas Drop provides.

The operation was originally established in 1952. Andersen, the Naval base as well as the local Guam community contribute to this cause by volunteering and working as a  cohesive team. 

Operation Christmas Drop has become part of Andersen's heritage. Andersen started this effort and to stop doing it would mark the end to a heritage of generosity that Andersen and the people of Guam have established. 

Operation Christmas Drop is a team effort, bringing together volunteers from across Andersen, including the 734th Air Mobility Squadron here, crews and aircraft from the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, and spirited members of the Guam community. 

"Andersen serves as a conduit for generous people from around Guam to help out these remote islands," said Captain Rector, the Operations Officer of the 36th Munitions Squadron.  "If Andersen stopped participating in this effort then this conduit would close and the people living on these remote islands would suffer."

 Last year alone there were $27,000 and 17.5 tons of supplies donated to this cause. 

"I have been amazed by the generosity demonstrated by the people of Guam, Andersen and the Naval Base," said Captain Rector. 

This year's Operation Christmas Drop is tentatively scheduled for either Dec. 17 or 19. People who wish to donate can give items such as new or serviceable clothes, fishing and snorkeling equipment, non-battery operated toys, non-perishable foods, and several other various items at collection points across the base and the island.

The collection points on base are the Four Seasons, Commissary, Base Exchange, and Andersen Middle Schoo. The operation will be accepting donations through the first week of December. 

The goods collected will be air dropped by C-130s in a span of approximately five days during the middle of December. 

"Our goal is to drop 200 boxes, making this the most ambitious goal to date," said Captain Robert Boles. "Donations are pouring in, so much so that our volunteers are having to collect them at some locations a couple of times a week." 
 
This year's operation will see its 55th annual event. According to organizational data, the Christmas drop operations have delivered more than 800,000 pounds of supplies since 1952.




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