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Is Operation Christmas Drop Based on a True Story?

November 5, 2020
3 min read

In the festive Netflix movie, ‘Operation Christmas Drop‘, an ambitious political aide is tasked with writing a damning report on how the folks at the Andersen Air Force base in Guam are using the taxpayers’ dime to fund an operation to airdrop Christmas presents for the local communities on remote islands in Micronesia. Erica Miller’s report is expected to justify her boss, Congresswoman Bradford, shutting down the facility at Andersen, while also getting Erica a big promotion.

However, when she arrives in Guam and observes the goings-on at Andersen, she realizes that Operation Christmas Drop is a humanitarian mission to supply necessities like food, clothes, medicines, tools, and books to the native population that occupies remote islands inaccessible by boat. Handsome charmer Captain Andrew Jantz helps Erica see that the operation, which is a 70-year-old tradition, does not utilize any government funds but instead runs wholly on charitable donations.

Influenced by a renewed Christmas spirit (and the orchestrations of the do-gooder Captain with a heart of gold), Erica participates in the benevolent generosity that is the annual Christmas mission, even risking her job and angering her Grinchy boss along the way. If you’re curious to know whether this heartwarming, feel-good Christmas movie is inspired by true events, you’re in luck because we have all the information right here!

Is Operation Christmas Drop Based on a True Story?

No, the film ‘Operation Christmas Drop’ is not based on a true story. However, the humanitarian mission named in the title is very much a real thing. What we mean is that the plot of the film that involves Erica Miller, Captain Jantz, and Congresswoman Bradford is pure fiction. There are no real people that these characters are based on. However, the movie’s setting – the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and the surrounding islands and the namesake mission – is indeed all real.

There is actually a US Air Force base in Guam that conducts Operation Christmas Drop yearly, in collaboration with the Japanese and the Australian air defense forces. Operation Christmas Drop is a 70-year-old tradition that started way back in 1952 and has since become the longest-running humanitarian airlift program in the world. Every year on Christmas, volunteers from the US Air Force in Andersen, assisted by the local community in Guam, collect essential supplies and airdrop them with a parachute attached near the remote homes of needy islanders.

Operation Christmas Drop is the oldest ongoing Department of Defense mission, which continues to remain in full operation, with more and more donations coming in each year. People volunteer their time and efforts, in addition to money, in order to organize the Christmas event every year. But it’s not just a unilateral charity mission. It serves as a training module for recruits who get to practice humanitarian aid drops, which is essential training for air force pilots who will be expected to get supplies to ground troops through the same method. In each way, it is a win-win for all parties involved.

Read More: Operation Christmas Drop Ending, Explained

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