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Messagepar gsnoopy520 » Sam 12 Jan 2019, 5:00 am

In this Dec. 8 Samaje Perine Womens Jersey , 2015 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Cpl. Teome Matamua and Sgt. Phillip McIllvaney of the Australian Army 176th Air Dispatch Squadron loadmasters deliver a package to the island of MogMog in the Federated States of Micronesia as part of Operation Christmas Drop. Australian, Japanese and U.S. air force planes are dropping food and toys on remote atolls in the Pacific as part of the U.S. military’s longest-running humanitarian relief mission. (Staff Sgt. Katrina BrisbinU.S. Air Force via AP.) In this Dec. 9, 2015 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force airmen waving at residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas island of Pagan after dropping a package to the islanders as part of Operation Christmas Drop. Australian, Japanese and U.S. air force planes are dropping food and toys on remote atolls in the Pacific as part of the U.S. military’s longest-running humanitarian relief mission. (Staff Sgt. Benjamin GonsierU.S. Air Force via AP) In this Dec. 8 Fabian Moreau Womens Jersey , 2015 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tech. Sgt. Satoshi Marimoto, left, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Christopher Nichols, both C-130 loadmasters, review load documents before Operation Christmas Drop flight SANTA12 at Andersen Air Force Base Ryan Anderson Womens Jersey , Guam. Australian, Japanese and U.S. air force planes are dropping food and toys on remote atolls in the Pacific as part of the U.S. military’s longest-running humanitarian relief mission. (Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel U.S. Air Force via AP) In this Dec. 5, 2015 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, airmen packing donated books for Operation Christmas Drop at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Australian, Japanese and U.S. air force planes are dropping food and toys on remote atolls in the Pacific as part of the U.S. military’s longest-running humanitarian relief mission. (Staff Sgt. Alexander W. RiedelU.S. Air Force via AP) In this Dec. 8 Preston Smith Womens Jersey , 2015 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J flies over the Federated States of Micronesia during Operation Christmas Drop. Australian, Japanese and U.S. air force planes are dropping food and toys on remote atolls in the Pacific as part of the U.S. military’s longest-running humanitarian relief mission. (Tech. Sgt. Melissa K. MekpongsatornU.S. Air Force via AP)
HONOLULU — Australian, Japanese and U.S. air force planes are dropping food and toys on remote atolls in the Pacific as part of the U.S. military's longest-running humanitarian relief mission.


The packages will support 20,000 people across 56 islands in Micronesia, the Mariana Islands and Palau.


The U.S. Air Force began the annual Operation Christmas Drop in 1952 when a Guam-based air crew noticed residents on the island of Kapingamarangi waving at them as they flew overhead. The crew gathered items they had on the plane Brandon Scherff Womens Jersey , attached a parachute and dropped them to the islanders.


It's a feel-good mission that also helps the U.S. achieve political aims, namely deepening three-way cooperation with close allies Australia and Japan, who are first-time participants. Analysts say the U.S. has been boosting the trilateral relationship in recent years as it keeps an eye on China's growing military.


The boxes include books, canned food and items like fishing nets that will help islanders maintain their largely subsistence lifestyle. This year, each package will also include a soccer ball.


Many islands are tiny. Fais Island, for example Montae Nicholson Womens Jersey , has just 300 inhabitants. It's less than 2 miles long and a mile wide.


The planes fly low, look for a safe spot to drop the bundles then release them from the back of the C-130s.


"It's from 300 feet and 130 knots, but you feel a kinship with these folks when you see them on the ground waving," said Col. Douglas C. DeLaMater, the commander of the U.S. Air Force's 374th Airlift Wing.


University of Guam distance education staff use ham radios to talk to the islanders throughout the year and relay their needs. Most recipient islands are the same each year.


U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Gregory Guillot, who is the director of strategic plans at Pacific Air Forces Jonathan Allen Womens Jersey , said the Christmas Drop offers a good trilateral training opportunity, particularly in a time of budget constraints and busy units.


Japan and Australia each sent one C-130 to join three from the U.S.


Guillot said the three air forces have been increasing their cooperation, noting they also come together for the annual Cope North exercise on Guam and Red Flag drill in Alaska. Inviting Australia and Japan to Christmas Drop was a logical extension of other work the countries have been doing, Guillot said.


"Partnerships here in the Pacific are the key cornerstone in our strategy to maintain regional stability and prosperity. Japan and Australia share a common interest in that goal," Guillot said.


Brad Glosserman, executive director of Pacific Forum think tank in Honolulu Ryan Kerrigan Womens Jersey , said the three-way relationship is the "gold standard" for the U.S. military's strategy toward allies in the Pacific. The U.S. wants to break out of "hub and spoke" system of bilateral alliances it has with five Asian countries and link multiple allies together, he said.


The U.S. has tried something similar with South Korea and Japan, but this grouping has struggled amid tensions in Tokyo and Seoul over Japan's past colonial rule of Korea.


The improved military capabilities of U.S. allies are a factor driving the increased cooperation, as is China's rise as a military power, Glosserman said.


Trilateral links can bring together like-minded U.S. allies in support of freedom of navigation, the peaceful resolution of disputes and other principles Jordan Reed Womens Jersey , Glosserman said. The U.S. and China have disagreed at times, for example, on matters like which waters U.S. N

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