A loadmaster completes her first Operation Christmas Drop

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Edwards
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

It was a hot, muggy day, but Santa still had to deliver presents to islands in the Pacific.

For a lot of people in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau, one of their Santas during the 70th Anniversary of Operation Christmas Drop was Senior Airman Kim Doyle, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster.

“This is my first humanitarian mission and it’s been life changing for me,” said Doyle. “Most of what I do at Yokota is just training and preparing for a crisis. I’m just so glad I had the opportunity to come out here and a be a part of this mission.”

As part of her job for the OCD mission, Doyle peered over the loading ramp, picked and mark drop zones, and communicated that information to the pilots of her C-130J Super Hercules.

“These loadmasters do a dangerous job, and I’m just grateful, every day, that we have them on the back of our plane,” said 1st Lt. Harrison Law, 36th AS pilot. “I see Airmen Doyle as a little sister. She’s an extremely hard worker, and she isn’t afraid to tell us what to do and how to handle things for her.”

During a few of her flights, she had the chance to show some Japanese Air Self-Defense Force members, who were flying C-130H Super Hercules, how she accomplishes the mission.

“I find it interesting how we get to interact with our partners here,” said Doyle. “During OCD, the JASDF have flown on our plane, which is a little bit different than theirs. I got to give them a tour and answer all their questions on the differences.”

This year, Doyle’s efforts contributed to supplying aid to over 22,000 residents across more than 55 remote islands in the South-Eastern Pacific.

“It was emotional for me, since this was the first time I’ve done anything like this. Knowing that we are out here giving aid to these people is a phenomenal experience.”