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Andersen AFB gears up for Operation Christmas Drop

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jamie Lessard
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Once again, Andersen Air Force Base is getting ready for the holidays and along with preparing for that, the base is also preparing for the annual Operation Christmas Drop. 

Operation Christmas Drop is a non-profit organization powered by volunteers from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam and the local community that have to date dropped over 800,000 pounds of goods throughout the islands. OCD is the Air Force's longest running humanitarian air lift operation.

Fundraising for this event will start with a charity "dive" in November and possibly a 5K Run/Walk. Along with the fundraisers, donations may also be made to the cause. Appropriate donations include slightly used or new clothes, non-perishable foods, fishing equipment, short-handled tools and toys.

"Right now, we have donation boxes at the [Base Exchange] Navy Base Guam's Naval Exchange, Cost-U-Less on Harmon Loop and by Guam Premier Outlets, Micronesian Divers Association Piti and Sumay, and Advanced Management Inc. in the Harmon Business District," said Captain Charles Schulz, president, Operation Christmas Drop.

Some on-base organizations that have donated are the Andersen AFB Officers Spouse's Club, Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 1560, The Andersen Chapel and the Airlift/Tanker Association. There have been a couple of large donations from local businesses such as Hawaiian Rock and IT&E donated gifts for fundraising events.

After the fundraisers are over and all donations are collected there will be a "box-build" in late November where volunteers package the donated items into boxes capped with parachutes. During a "push ceremony" representatives from the local community and members from Team Andersen load the boxes onto the airlift aircraft. This year the push ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 15 in Hangar 1. The drops will take place Dec. 16-19.

"I am excited and anxious about Operation Christmas Drop," Captain Schulz said. "We have been building to this event since about last May, and now we are less than 60 days from execution."

Operation Christmas Drop delivers supplies to various islands throughout the CNMI, Palau, Yap, and Chuuk. The goal of this year's Christmas Drop is to deliver humanitarian aid to at least 57 islands.

Not only is this a Team Andersen event, the 36th Airlift Squadron from Yokota AB, Japan, helps deliver the goods by providing the air lift. The community of Guam also donates goods and money to keep Operation Christmas Drop going, and Bruce Best, University of Guam representative, communicates with the islands to help us focus attention on what the island residents need.

"I am happy to be part of an event that has been running since 1952, earning the title of the world's longest running humanitarian air drop," Captain Schulz said.