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Islanders show their appreciation of Operation Christmas Drop by leaving a holiday message for C-130 aircrews dropping supplies to the islands Dec. 11, 2014, over the Pacific Ocean. Air Force photo by A1C Amanda Morris.

Mobility airmen from Yokota AB, Japan dropped the last bundle of Operation Christmas Drop over the Micronesian Islands on Dec. 13, setting a new milestone for the annual humanitarian mission, which dates back to 1952. Supported by airmen from the 36th Wing at Andersen AFB, Guam, C-130 crews flew missions to some 56 islands across the Pacific Ocean, delivering more than 51,000 pounds of supplies. Eighty-nine bundles of goods were airdropped to islands such as Chuuk, Palau, Yap, the Marshall Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and included toys, clothes, fishing equipment, sports equipment, food, tools, and other items. Planning for this year’s operation began six months ago, including participation from airmen at Andersen, JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and at Yokota. The benefits of the program are “truly lifesaving,” said Pacific Program Coordinator Bruce Best. “In some cases, this is literally the only chance we have all year to get much needed supplies to obscure island nations.”