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    Operation Christmas Drop Bundle Build is a Wrap!

    Operation Christmas Drop Bundle Build is a Wrap!

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Spalding | 36th Airlift Squadron Airmen secure a box during Operation Christmas Drop 2020, at...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

    ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – The warehouse was full of the sound of holiday music, joy, laughter and ambition. Boxes filled with donated food, medical supplies and household goods lining the walls - Operation Christmas Drop 2020 bundle build accomplished what it set out to do for the last 69 years, preparing necessary goods to the families on the remote islands in the South-Eastern Pacific.

    On Dec. 3rd and 5th, service members from the U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and volunteers from the local community gathered together for two days of bundle building at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

    “To the people we are helping, this is their New Years, their Valentines, their Easter, their Thanksgiving,” said Master Sgt. Anthony Biecheler, OCD president. “This is an all-in-one for them. It comes in the form of a C-130 flying overhead, with their engines roaring, dropping presents out of the back.”

    Previous years saw a packed room full of eager bundle builders, sharing bright smiles with fellow volunteers. This year, new measures had to be put into place to keep the bundles and the builders safe from the spread of COVID-19.

    “Last year was a traditional year,” said Biecheler. “We received donations through traditional fundraising efforts, like our golf tournaments and going out and speaking with island businesses. This year we knew we had to expand our digital footprint.”

    Because of this realignment of committee efforts, the golf tournament turned to e-sports as a way to garner support.

    “We had to reach out to the goodness of the global community,” said Biecheler “We hosted OCD Call of Duty tournaments. The second tournament had over one million viewers in a 24-hour period. It was awesome to see that type of visibility.”

    There were many different ways the community came together to ensure these goods were able to get carefully delivered to the families that needed them.

    The bundle build itself had only a limited amount of people inside the warehouse during specific times. Bundles were spread out six feet apart. Groups of only five people were allowed at each station, and every volunteer had to wear masks and gloves and get their temperature checked upon entering the area.

    “We worked closely with the 36th Wing Public Health and guidance from the Center of Disease Control to make sure we were operating in a COVID safe manner,” Biecheler said.

    In order to maintain these important mitigations, bundles went through a series of rest, storage and sanitation periods, said Staff Sgt. Alex Vigil, 374th Logistics and Readiness Squadron combat mobility flight supervisor.

    “Our biggest challenge this year was COVID-19 and making sure our crew was safe during our 14-day restriction of movement,” said Vigil. “Most importantly, those on the receiving end of these bundles are going to be safe when getting these critical supplies.”

    The Airmen with the 374th CMF spent countless hours ensuring the supplies will be ready for final delivery.

    All donated items were held in a sanitized location for seven to 10 days before being handled. Bundles built on the first day will have been stored for the required minimum of 72 hours before being loaded onto USAF and JASDF C-130 aircraft for delivery on Dec. 6 and 7. All bundles put together on the fifth, will be ready for delivery on Dec. 9 and 10.

    Although this year was a little different than years past, mitigation measures were applied across all fronts of this year’s OCD.

    With great care and attention, all of the much-needed supplies were packed and set aside, awaiting their big delivery to families living on the remote islands in the region.

    “I love OCD,” said Vigil. “Seeing how much goes into making this happen, how much joy it brings to those giving and receiving these donations, and the positive influence our military and our bilateral partners have, leaves me with a good feeling at the end of each day.”



    Date Taken: 12.05.2020
    Date Posted: 12.05.2020 06:47
    Story ID: 384292
    Location: GU

    Web Views: 231
    Downloads: 0