Alaskan National Guard Executes Operation Santa Claus in Rural Village

Operation Santa Claus, run by the Alaska Air National Guard every year, flew Santa to the remote Alaskan village of Napakiak in early December.

Santa passed on his sleigh and traveled from Anchorage to Napakiak in a C-12 Huron twin-engine turboprop plane and a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

His mission was to deliver presents and Christmas cheer to schoolchildren and their families at the W. Miller Memorial School.

Operation Santa Claus has been ongoing for 63 years. However, similar programs have been shut down everywhere except Alaska, where the mission survives thanks to the unique properties of the state.

The program began in 1956 after the residents of St. Mary’s, Alaska, hit hard by flooding, we’re unable to buy children Christmas presents.

Ever since, the Guard has tried to visit at least two rural communities per year, delivering presents, school supplies, toiletries, and ice cream.

Often, Operation Santa will prioritize communities facing a natural disaster or an economic challenge. (AP)