Andersen Air Force Base, Guam (Vocus) December 19, 2008
The U.S. Air Force delivered more than 20 tons of donated items to Pacific Islanders throughout Micronesia during the 57th annual "Operation Christmas Drop" December 14-19.
Operation Christmas Drop (OCD) is the longest running organized air drop in the world and one of the largest charity efforts in the Pacific. The non-profit organization is powered by volunteers from Andersen Air Force Base and local Guam community. Each year, the two join forces to aid the people of smaller islands that do not have airstrips or major ports.
Volunteers participated in the final box-build here Dec. 7 working nearly non-stop to complete palletizing boxes for Air Force C-130 air drop missions to the Micronesian islands. In all, more than 186 boxes were built, making 2008 one of the largest in its 55 year history.
Through military and local community support, the OCD organization collected tens of thousands of donated items and raised more than $30,000 through donations and fundraising efforts since they began the 2008 campaign in August.
"Sponsors have contributed more than $30,500, including an $8,500 donation by Andersen's chapel and $5,000 from the Andersen Officers Spouses Club," said Capt. Adam Rector, the vice president of the organization.
The operation started in December of 1952 when locals on the island of Kapingamarangi waved to the crew of a WB-50 flying overhead. In the spirit of the holiday season, the crew gathered what they could, packed it into a canister, attached a parachute and dropped the goods to the islanders.
Today, the men and women of the U.S. Air Force, the University of Guam, media, local government, businesses, individuals and professional and charitable organizations work together to collect cash and merchandise to deliver toys, clothing, fishing equipment, sporting goods, food items and tools to the remote islands and atolls in the area.
Operation Christmas Drop 2008 was a team effort, bringing together volunteers from across Andersen AFB, 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.
Over 75,000 pounds of goods were dropped during the operation's 50th anniversary in 2002.
INTERVIEWS & B-ROLL:
This is a great holiday story with broadcast quality b-roll of the C-130 air drops and more. For b-roll of packing the boxes, loading the aircraft and C-130 air drop missions news media can call Digital Video & Imagery Distribution System at 1-877-dvids247. Media wishing to interview U.S. Air Force members about the mission should contact the 36th Wing Public Affairs Office at (671) 366-4202 or e-mail 36wgpa at andersen dot af dot mil.
For more information about Operation Christmas Drop 2008, visit:
VIDEO DESCRIPTIONS ON DVIDS:
Operation Christmas Drop DVIDS Info
1. Operation Christmas Drop Final Box Build (OP Christmas Drop _boxpack 1, 2)
Volunteers from Andersen AFB and the local community participated in the final box-build here Dec. 7 for Operation Christmas Drop, the Air Force's longest on-going humanitarian airlift mission. With only days left, last-minute donations continued to pour in as OCD volunteers worked nearly non-stop to complete palletizing boxes for delivery to the small Micronesian islands. The volunteers ensured each box contained donations to include non-perishable food items, clothing, medical supplies, fishing gear, hand tools, toys and much more. In all, more than 186 boxes were built, making 2008 one of the largest in its 57 year history.
OP Christmas Drop_boxpack 1.mpg - Volunteers pack boxes with supplies in Andersen AFB Hangar 5. Zoom out shot
OP Christmas Drop _boxpack 2.mpg - Static shots of boxes loaded with supplies (toys, first aid kits)
2. Operation Christmas Drop Push Ceremony (OP Christmas Drop_push ceremony)
Prior to the first missions, representatives from the local community and members from Andersen AFB conduct a "Push Ceremony" celebrating the kick-off of the Operation Christmas Drop season where representatives from the local community and members from Team Andersen load the boxes onto the C-130 airlift aircraft.
OP Christmas Drop_push ceremony.mpg - This clip depicts Bruce Best, a Research Associate and Station Manager for the University of Guam's Telecommunication and Distance Education Operation (TADEO) and USAF Brig. Gen. Philip Ruhlman, Andersen AFB's 36th Wing commander. Operation Christmas Drop, the longest-running humanitarian airlift operation in the world, will deliver supplies to 68 remote Pacific Islands in December. Mr. Best is the radio operator who communicates directly with the islands to coordinate the Operation Christmas Drops, in addition, he visits the islands once a year to ensure their radios are fully functioning.
3. Operation Christmas Drop cargo load (OP Christmas Drop _loading cargo, SEQUENCE)
Airmen from 734th Air Mobility Squadron work with loadmasters from the 36th Airlift Squadron Dec. 14 to fill a C-130 with pallets of supplies destined for the remote islands in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands as part of Operation Christmas Drop. Operation Christmas Drop, which began in 1952, is the Air Force's longest-running humanitarian airlift mission.
OP Christmas Drop _loading cargo.mpg - Airmen load a pallet onto a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules (36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan) and a sequence of various angles of Airmen loading pallets onto the aircraft.
4. Airdropping the boxes (OP Christmas Drop_drop.mpg, SEQUENCE)
Members from the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, push a box Dec. 14 filled with supplies destined for a remote island within the Micronesian islands during the first mission for Operation Christmas Drop. The delivery was the first of more than 180 boxes dropped to islands in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Yap, Palau, Chuuk and Pohnpei.
These remote islands have little to no outside contact and supplies, other than what Operation Christmas Drop provides. Through military and local community support, the OCD organization has collected tens of thousands of donated items and raised more than $30,000 through donations and fundraising efforts since the 2008 campaign began in August.
OP Christmas Drop_drop 1.mpg - Sequence of a pallet exiting a C-130 Hercules from the aircraft's cargo bay doors opening to the pallet landing in the water)
OP Christmas Drop_drop 2.mpg - Medium shot of two loadmasters pushing cargo out of a C-130 for Operation Christmas Drop over an island near Chuuk.
OP Christmas Drop_drop 3.mpg - Closeup shot of a pallet exiting a C-130 Hercules(shot at ground level of the C-130)
OP Christmas Drop_drop 4.mpg - Medium/Closeup shot of pallet exiting a C-130 Hercules over an island near Chuuk; parachute opens, but the shot ends before the pallet lands.
****OP Christmas Drop_drop 5.mpg**** SHOWS ISLANDERS RETRIEVING A PACKAGE - More loading the aircraft shots followed by airdrops. One airdrop shows islanders in a boat that jump into the water to retrieve the package upon touchdown.
FILE FOOTAGE OP Christmas Drop_drop.mpg - File footage of Yokota aircrew dropping pallets of supplies from a C-130 during Operation Christmas Drop 2007.