Coast Guard cutter delivers Santa Claus and presents in Micronesia

WOLEAI ATOLL, YAP STATE, Federated States of Micronesia — The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Assateague this past week delivered holiday gifts to islanders in a remote part of Micronesia.

In conjunction with the Department of Defense-sponsored Operation Christmas Drop, the cutter’s crew carried gifts and supplies provided by the Guam Navy Officers Spouses Connection, Andersen Air Force Base, and Coast Guard personnel stationed in Guam.

“Operation Santa’s Sleigh” was the name given to the cutter’s 390-nautical mile trip south of Guam to the remote Woleai Atoll in the Yap State of the Federated States of Micronesia. With the cutter off shore, Santa Claus (a.k.a. the Assateague’s commanding officer, Lt. Jim Jarnac), embarked a small boat and headed to the beach to deliver more than 500 pounds of toys, books and clothes.

Jarnac also conducted a one hour presentation at the island’s high school for more than 50 11th and 12th graders and talked about his life experiences in the Coast Guard. Jarnac also explained the many roles of the service in the remote islands of Micronesia.

The Assateague’s crew members were the guests of honor at a large festival featuring island cultural dances, singing, performances and food. The crew members and islanders also sang Christmas carols.

“This was the experience of a lifetime for my entire crew,” said Jarnac. “We are truly grateful to the warm hospitality shown us by the people of Woleai Atoll.”

The Assateague is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in Apra Harbor, Guam. The cutter supports Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, port security, and maritime law enforcement, in the Western and Central Pacific.

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