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NEWS | Dec. 6, 2023

FSM President joins US Ambassador, USAF for OCD 23 Push Ceremony

By Tech. Sgt. Taylor Altier, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

In a heartwarming ceremony held at Andersen Air Force Base, dignitaries, military officials, and volunteers gathered for the annual Operation Christmas Drop Push Ceremony, Dec. 4. The event marked the official commencement of the humanitarian mission that delivers essential supplies and holiday cheer to remote Micronesian islands.
His Excellency Wesley Simina, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, alongside Jennifer Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to the FSM, addressed the crowd, emphasizing the profound impact of collective goodwill and joint efforts.
“Operation Christmas Drop is not just about delivering tangible goods,” said President Simina. “It is a testament to the enduring partnership between our nations and our shared values of goodwill and cooperation.”
As the ceremony unfolded, President Simina expressed gratitude for the dedication of the service men and women who diligently organize and execute the operation each year.
“What began as a noble initiative between the U.S. and the Federated States of Micronesia has blossomed into an inspiring display of international cooperation, transcending borders and demonstrating the enduring spirit of unity. This annual tradition has evolved beyond its origins, welcoming the participation of other nations.”
Ambassador Johnson echoed President Simina’s sentiments, emphasizing the unique nature of OCD in capturing the true spirit of Christmas.
“From our friends in the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau to our friends in the U.S. military, and our partners and allies in Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Canada for sharpening their craft to conduct low-cost, low-altitude airdrops and to the volunteers and non-government organizations that collected and sorted donations for these supplies and built the drop boxes, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she said.
Ambassador Johnson also expressed her excitement about joining the 36th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron alongside President Simina to witness firsthand the incredible work of U.S. service members.
As the ceremony concluded, both leaders conveyed their hopes for the tradition to continue serving as a beacon of goodwill and a reminder of the power of love, cooperation, and the simple delight of sharing joy during the holiday season. Operation Christmas Drop stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of unity and the commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who are often the hardest to reach.
“May this tradition continue to serve as a beacon of goodwill, reminding us of the power of love, cooperation, and the simple delightment of sharing and spreading joy to those who are often left behind,” said President Simina. “May the blessings of this holiday season rain upon our islands.”


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