Festive cheer from the sky

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Senior Sergeant Shannon Massam, Lieutenant Matthew Savage, Lieutenant Dante Zanet, Corporal Kris Nash, Corporal Josey Josling, Corporal Stephen Blood and Flight Lieutenant Joshua Tamm.
Camera IconSenior Sergeant Shannon Massam, Lieutenant Matthew Savage, Lieutenant Dante Zanet, Corporal Kris Nash, Corporal Josey Josling, Corporal Stephen Blood and Flight Lieutenant Joshua Tamm. Credit: Corporal Colin Dadd

Two small Pilbara communities were presented with the Christmas spirit in an unusual way earlier this month when the Pilbara Regiment joined the Royal Australian Air Force for an air drop.

Roebourne and Yande-yarra received supplies for the wet season including water and tinned food, clothing, education materials and toys for the kids, all dropped by parachute from a military transport aircraft.

There were three units involved in the drop including the 35 Squadron RAAF, 176 Air Dispatch Squadron and the Pilbara Regiment.

The Pilbara Regiment’s operations officer said the drop served two purposes.

“We don’t get to do much training with Air Force and certainly not with their airdropping capability, so it was good to work with them,” she said. “But it was also about engaging with the communities in the Pilbara, especially the remote ones, which don’t have access to a lot of the things we take for granted.”

Donations were made by local businesses, including Coles, Kmart and Woolworths, bundled up and fixed to parachutes and then pushed out the back when the plane reached the drop zone.

The operations officer said the drops were arranged with the communities three months ago. “They both rea-lly embraced it and thought it was a great idea. The support from the Pilbara community and businesses was nothing short of outstanding.”

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