Operation Christmas Drop is the Department of Defense’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. Today, air drop operations include more than 50 islands throughout the Pacific.

Operation Christmas Drop is a PACAF event which includes a partnership between the 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan; the 36th Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam; 734th Air Mobility Squadron, Andersen AFB of the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; the University of Guam; and the ‘Operation Christmas Drop’ private organization which leads the fundraising and donations for the operation.

Andersen is used as a “base camp” to airlift the donated goods to islanders throughout Micronesia.” – US Air Force

Featured image of Distinguished Visitors and Members of the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, wave out the back of a C-130 Hercules to the people of the Western Pacific and Micronesia islands participating in Operation Christmas Drop by U.S. Air Force photo, Airman 1st Class Adarius Petty

 

This article is courtesy of Fighter Sweep.

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