Santa, Mrs. Claus arrive at Dobbins on a C-130

  • Published
  • By A1C Chante Foster
  • 94th Maintenance Group

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- Typically, when Santa Claus makes his grand appearance you might imagine him flying around on a big sleigh guided by his reindeer. But, when he has an important mission, such as visiting the families of Airmen at Dobbins, he always chooses a C-130H3 Hercules.

Operation Santa Lift returned to Hangar 5 during the December drill weekend. Santa, Mrs. Claus and a team of special helpers created an atmosphere where Airmen and their families could enjoy festive activities, crafts and plenty of sweet treats.

Operation Santa Lift

The moment guests entered Hangar 5 they were greeted and given a raffle ticket by volunteers from the Dobbins Military Spouse Group, a non-profit organization operated by the dedicated Dobbins ARB spouses.

There was something for everyone: a refreshment station, reindeer games, ornament tables, and even bouncy houses!

The 94th Chaplain Corps and Airman & Family Readiness also set up information tables where they greeted visitors and explained the services available to Airmen and their family members.

The hangar was filled with excitement as children steered their parents and guardians from one station to the next. As the energy grew, it came to an abrupt hush the moment Santa’s arrival was announced.

Guests shifted their attention outside of the hangar doors as they watched and waved at Santa and Mrs. Claus riding in on a C-130. Families lined up to take photos and children got to share their Christmas wishes with Santa.


Prior to accepting her assignment as event coordinator in September, Rebekah Beaver and her family were annual participants for nearly 5 years. After all of her team’s hard work and planning, being able to enjoy the outcome was rewarding, she said.

“I walked through a while ago and I was almost emotional because you felt the people receiving the love,” said Beaver. “The most rewarding part is seeing the service members and their families enjoying themselves.”

The Air Force Reserve prioritizes the importance of building resilient Airmen. Events like Operation Santa Lift align with the Wingman Concept because it provides an environment for service members and their families to enjoy priceless moments together.