Servicemembers from the U.S. Air Force, Japan Air-Self Defense Force (Koku Jietai), Royal Australian Air Force, and volunteers from the local community gathered together for a day of bundle building during Operation Christmas Drop 2018 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam last Dec. 8, 2018.
While the event saw 143 bundles packed to the brim with food, clothing and medical supplies set to be airdropped to 56 Micronesian islands throughout the Pacific, the bundle build itself started a few days prior with the building of the actual bundles.
“The second we got here we started cutting the wood that would become the tops and bottoms of the 143 bundles or Coastal Humanitarian Air Drop we packed here today,” said airman 1st Class Brian Story, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron Combat Mobility Flight operations technician. “Even though it’s been hard work, every bundle we’ve made has been worth it. I joined the Air Force to help people and being here at OCD really makes me feel like I am doing just that.”
That drive to help people was a shared driving force between everyone who volunteered their time to come be a part of the 67th OCD bundle build. From servicemembers to volunteers, old to young, it was all about making a difference.
“We came to help other people,” said Andrew Smith, a cub scout with the local Pack 23 out of the nearby Naval Base Guam.
Andrew, his mother Krystle Smith, and the rest of Pack 23 would go on to help fill 10 of those 143 bundles set to be airdropped to the CNMI, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.
For the airmen of the 374 LRS CMF, it is the island of Tinian within the CNMI that has even more meaning for them when it comes to being a part of OCD.
“One of our fellow airmen in our shop is originally from Tinian,” said airman Briar Morris, 374 LRS CMF operations technician. “The fact that what we’ve built is going to go out and provide help to where he is from is really special. It’s really is such an amazing opportunity to be a part of this humanitarian training mission.
“Knowing full well that not only are we dropping bundles to help people now, but that this training could help us and our partners be better prepared for other humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts down the road, makes all of our hard work here worth it.”