Operation Christmas Drop Australia

By Kristy Sexton-McGrath

1 January, 2020

Defence Force airdrops supplies into remote communities for Exercise Christmas Drop.

Santa’s sleigh has come early to a remote Indigenous community in far north Queensland with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) airdropping about a tonne of donated Christmas presents into Lockhart River, about 800 kilometres north of Cairns.

It was the first time the military conducted Exercise Christmas Drop in Australia, designed to not only bring some joy to the residents of the town but to test the capabilities of the military in responding to humanitarian crises.

Wing Commander Ben Poxon was on board the flight to Lockhart River along with Royal Australian Air Force and Army personnel.

He said supplies would also be flown into Kowanyama in Queensland and Roebourne and Yandeyarra in Western Australia.

“We asked the communities what they were most in need of and being remote, it was anything and everything, from bicycle repair kits to footballs, all the way through to sanitary products,” Wing Commander Poxon said.

We tried to target the communities that wished to engage with us but were also most in need.