Gundam 22: An Operation Christmas Drop Tribute

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Taylor Altier
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Team Yokota Airmen, with the help of multinational partners, packaged, decorated, signed, and dedicated a bundle of humanitarian aid during Operation Christmas Drop 2023 in honor of the 353rd Special Operations Wing and 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing Airmen who tragically lost their lives in service to their country Nov. 29.

“One of the core tenets of the Operation Christmas Drop mission is bringing people together, because of that, the crew of Gundam 22 has never left our minds since the OCD teams arrived,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Zach Overbey, OCD 23 mission commander and pilot. “To help ease the pain of uncertainty and loss, we wanted to pay tribute to their lives, their service, their families, and their communities during this heartbreaking time.”

The bundle itself was loaded onto a U.S. Air Force 36th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules and airdropped to the island of Angaur in the Republic of Palau, where Staff Sgt. Spencer Tobler, 374th Airlift Wing public affairs craftsman, was able to capture its impact on the islanders of the small, remote community of around 100 people.

“We love Operation Christmas Drop, it really makes the students and the people on this island happy, it’s an event that we all look forward to every year,” said Tiffany Kasiano, Angaur Elementary School principal. “Before we opened the box, I told the students it was a tribute to servicemen and about the tragedy that happened. I feel honored to be a part of it.”

Every December, the roar of a C-130 calls the people of Angaur to gather around the island’s only airstrip to receive gifts from the sky.

“While it’s a small degree of comfort, we hope that this box of aid, given to those who need it most, will bring some degree of solace to the family and friends of the crewmembers of Gundam 22,” said Overbey.

“As we continue to execute our Operation Christmas Drop mission, we’re thinking about y’all, we love you all, and know that you are always on our minds and in our hearts.”