Santa, elves drop in for Operation Toy Drop 2018

by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Mrs. Claus (center) poses with 12 of Santa’s helpers for a photo after being rigged into their parachutes for Operation Toy Drop 2018 on Ramstein Air Base, Dec. 13. Members of the 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company worked with the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, 86th Airlift Wing, and seven coalition partners. Photo by Airman 1st Class Kristof J. Rixmann


Santa Claus and his elves delivered toys to children via military freefall and static-line jumps as part of the 7th annual Operation Toy Drop event on Alzey Drop Zone, Dec. 11 through 13.

Santa’s helpers conduct static-line jumps out of a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules during Operation Toy Drop 2018 over Alzey Drop Zone, Dec. 13. Photo by Airman 1st Class Kristof J. Rixmann

Each day of the operation, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and seven partner nations took off in an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to conduct low-level passes over the drop zone.

Throughout the operation, paratroopers conducted approximately 140 personnel drops each day.


On the final day of the event, the 37th Airlift Squadron dropped several crates of toys while Santa Claus performed a high altitude military freefall jump, and Mrs. Claus and 12 elves performed static-line jumps onto Alzey Drop Zone.

After the jump, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and the elves gave toys to local children from around the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

“It’s a great way to build our community,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Benjamin Wingler, 1st Combat Communications Squadron director of operations and jumpmaster. “It shows that we’re not just here to use the land as the U.S. Army or Air Force, but we’re here to give back to the community.”

The U.S. Army 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company, based at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, hosted the event.

The three-day operation ended with coalition partner jumpmasters presenting their nation’s jump wings to other country’s paratroopers who jumped with them during the week.

“It’s just a great week for building partnership capacity,” Wingler said. “It’s a great training environment that gives back to the community.”

Santa’s helpers, assigned to the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, conduct static-line jumps out of a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules during Operation Toy Drop 2018 over Alzey Drop Zone, Dec. 13. Approximately 350 static-line jumps were conducted over the three-day operation. Photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh

 

Santa Claus approaches the landing zone after conducting a military freefall jump during Operation Toy Drop 2018 over Alzey Drop Zone, Dec. 12. The three-day operation culminated in two cargo delivery system bundle drops, with Santa Claus and his helpers jumping shortly after. The bundles contained toys for the children. Photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh

 

Santa Claus and members of the 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company and 435th Air Ground Operations Wing watch as a military free fall jumper approaches Alzey Drop Zone during Operation Toy Drop 2018, Dec. 13. Paratroopers with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and 7 partner nations conducted jumps during the operation. Photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh

 

U.S. Army Capt. Rizzoli Elias (right), 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company commander, hands a stuffed animal to a child during Operation Toy Drop 2018 on Alzey Drop Zone, Dec. 13. Santa and his elves delivered gifts via cargo delivery system drops from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules. Photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh

 

A German child smiles as he receives a present from Santa’s helpers during Operation Toy Drop 2018 on Alzey Drop Zone, Dec. 13. The presents were delivered via cargo delivery system drops out of a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules. The C-130Js are assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base. Photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh