Gifts under the Silk

Christmas began early on the South Pacific islands of Fais, Ngulu Atoll, and Ulithi Atoll in Micronesia. For the 60th year running, airmen participated in Operation Christmas Drop, a week-long effort organized by private volunteers and US service members to deliver gifts of food, provisions, and tools to isolated communities scattered across the Pacific. Three C-130s from the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota AB, Japan, flying from Andersen AFB, Guam, are carrying out this year’s mission. “These islands do not have airstrips, do not have power, do not have water,” said volunteer coordinator Bruce Best, reported Guam’s Pacific Daily News. “It’s the most exciting day of their year. This is it. This is Christmas for them,” he underscored, while loading the aircraft for the “push-off” event on Dec. 12. Aircrews plan to make 60 drops this year to approximately 50 isolated islands, according to the newspaper.