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Military spreading some holiday cheer

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by Heather Hauswirth

Guam - Today kicked off Operation Christmas Drop, an annual project where the men and women of the United States Air Force fly over the outer islands of Micronesia and play Santa from the sky.  "We'll have an opportunity to bring much needed supplies and hope to people in the Micronesian islands," said Colonel Mark Hicks.

It's a long-lasting tradition ongoing for the last fifty-eight years. During Tuesday's push ceremony at Andersen Air Force Base, Brigadier General Phil Rhulman announced that the Air Force plans to make fifty-one drops to over fifty islands, bringing with them over 25,000 pounds of food and supplies.  Said, Rhulman "In the spirit of Christmas is obviously behind what we do."

"All the volunteers in this audience who put the boxes together and the hundreds of civilians who took the donations and the behind the scenes work is another symbol of U.S. air power," the general added.

And for those who live in the outer islands, they look forward to the Christmas season. Former Guam Rotary Club President William Hagen delivered the keynote address at the push ceremony and he says Christmas Drop signifies the beginning of Christmas.  Hagen announced, "They anticipate your arrival, they keep their ear to the radio knowing what day, what time, and everybody gets all excited about it. It's like the arrival of Santa Claus. You folks literally bring Santa Claus to the outer islands."

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