Exercise Christmas Drop

19 Dec 2019

From 2-4 December 2019 Exercise Christmas Drop was conducted for the first time in Australia, when around a tonne of donations were airdropped to an Indigenous community at Lockhart River, Qld. This was followed by additional drops to Kowanyama, Qld and Roebourne and Yandeyarra, WA. The communities were asked what they were most in need of, with items such as bicycle repair kits, footballs and thongs being requested.

No 35 Squadron personnel delivered supplies via airdop from C-27J Spartan aircraft. They were supported by Air Force Indigenous Liaison Officers, the Australian Army's 51 Far North Qld Regiment and Pilbara Regiment. The exercise increased interoperability between RAAF crews on the C-27J Spartan aircraft and Australian Army land forces.

The exercise was an opportunity for the RAAF to test out the C-27J Spartan – a smaller version of the Hercules. Normally used in battle situations to deliver supplies such as blood, ammunition and rations to troops, it was decided to conduct some tactical training while at the same time delivering some Christmas cheer.

Operation Christmas Drop has been an annual activity led by the United States Pacific Air Forces since 1952. It is the world’s longest-running humanitarian airdrop activity. To read more about the RAAF's participation in Christmas drops download the article Operation Christmas Drop by Ms Rosalind Turner.

Related aircraft

  • C-27J Spartan