The Royal Australian Air Force has participated in the world’s longest running humanitarian airdrop activity, Operation Christmas Drop, by deploying a C-130J Hercules transport aircraft to Guam.
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The RAAF sent 16 personnel and a Hercules from RAAF Base Richmond to Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, working alongside counterparts from the US and Japan.
The Hercules crews flew missions of up to 10 hours, delivering to communities more than 2,000 kilometres away, including Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of Palau.
Flight Lieutenant Nicholas Bourke, RAAF Detachment Commander for Operation Christmas Drop 18, said the operation provides valuable experience for the crews participating.
“Operation Christmas Drop enables us to build upon our skills individually, and also gives us the opportunity to work closely with the United States and Japan,” FLTLT Bourke said.
“There’s also great satisfaction that comes with delivering supplies and gifts to remote communities and spreading the Christmas cheer.
“We have a long history of providing humanitarian airlift over vast distances of the Asia-Pacific region and will continue to do so in the future.”
Operation Christmas Drop is led by the US Pacific Air Force and has been held annually since 1952.