Posts tagged ‘Santa Claus’

FRIDAY FOTO: Christmas Edition (December 24, 2021)


For the Christmas version of the FRIDAY FOTO, we thought we show a range of holiday activities among the troops around the world. Please click on each photo to enlarge the image — and have a happy, safe holiday whichever way you celebrate the season!

The Santa Cause

For one thing, Santa Claus — or one of his lookalike helpers — seems to show up in some of the strangest places this time of year, like the wing of a fighter jet.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Wood)

Santa waves to onlookers during the 48th Fighter Wing Children’s Holiday Party at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, on December 11, 2021. Santa made his grand entrance in an F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron. 


(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Antonino Mazzamuto)

A UH-1Y Huey assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 (HMLA-167) transports Santa Claus to Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, for a squadron party on December 16, 2021.


(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Roberson)

Attired in a Santa suit, Lieutenant Commander Rob Nelson, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), launches a T-45C Goshawk aircraft assigned to Training Air Wing (TW) 1, on December 18, 2021.

The Chief of Naval Air Training is conducting a carrier qualification detachment aboard the carrier. It’s the first opportunity for student naval aviators from Training Air Wings 1 and 2 to launch from and land on an aircraft carrier at sea.


Sedate Santas

(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brianna K. Green)

Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Jingle the Elf appear with the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Brass Quintet Band during a holiday-themed community relations event in Naples, Italy on December 17, 2021.


(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Kelsey Dornfeld)

U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Joshua Purrington of the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion talks with a child who just got her present at a Toys for Tots event in McGrath, Alaska, on December 3, 2021.  Marines and Airmen traveled to remote villages of Alaska’s Kuskokwim Valley to support the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program.


Speaking of Gift Giving

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Religious Support Office check their lists twice as they load gifts for military and South Korean children into a delivery vehicle for Operation Happy Holidays on December 20, 2021.

(Photo courtesy of Chaplain (Maj.) Christian Bang) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)


(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Samwel Tabancay)

Lieutenant General David G. Bellon, commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces South, joins a Toys for Tots distribution in New Orleans on December 18, 2021. MARFORRES Marines and Sailors assisted in the distribution of toys to approximately 2,000 families as a part of the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

Making Merry

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Miranda Mahoney)

Air Commandos gather around the tree during the annual tree lighting ceremony at Hurlburt Field, a U.S. Air Force facility in Florida on December 3, 2021. The ceremony was virtual in 2020, but due to declining COVID-19 numbers, the event was held in-person again this year.

December 24, 2021 at 1:49 pm 2 comments

ARCTIC NATION: Santa Citizenship, Canada-Russia Tussle, Greenpeace “Arctic 30,”

Is Santa Canadian?

It was meant as a light-hearted public service message that obtaining a Canadian e-passport is quick and easy – but when Ottawa issued passports to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus before Christmas, it was also driving home a point about who owns the North Pole.

The Canadian government is exploring ways to legally justify its territorial claims in the Arctic (see post below) which it says includes the waters around the North Pole. That claim – made by the government of conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper – has ruffled Russian feathers (Moscow also claims ownership of the Pole) and certainly gotten the attention of the other countries that make up the Arctic Council: Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

“Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today presented Santa and Mrs. Claus with the 2,999,999th and 3,000,000th ePassports at a special ceremony in Vaughan, Ontario,” the government announced in a tongue-in-cheek news release – that also claimed the Clauses live at North Pole, Canada – the Toronto Globe and Mail reported December 20.

* * * *

Cold Rush to Cold War?

The “Cold Rush” to lay claim to the Arctic’s rich untapped mineral resources may be shifting to an arms race at the top of the world.

Arctic Circle Nations

Arctic Circle Nations

Canada and Russia could be at the start of an arms race in the Far North after the Canadian government announced December 9 their intentions to extend their territorial claims to include th waters – and the land beneath them – extending to North Pole.

Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, said his government had asked scientists to work on a submission to the United Nations arguing that the outer limits of Canada’s territory include the north pole, which has yet to be claimed by any country, the Guardian reported.

That announcement prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to direct his defense leaders to start building up military force and infrastructure in the Arctic.

The Ottawa’s action and Moscow’s reaction confirms what many observers feared would happen as the global warming trend makes the Arctic and itys vast oil, gas and mineral resources more accessible, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Analysts predicted a “Cold Rush” of nations trying to stake a claim to the riches beneath Arctic waters and flood expected new ice-free sea lanes with cargo, naval and cruise vessels.

* * * *

Greenpeace Protestors Released

Russia has dropped charges against all 30 Greenpeace environmental activists involved in protests against Arctic oil drilling, the group says.

The first of the 30 to be released – Soviet-born Swedish activist Dima Litvinov – crossed the border into Finland after receiving an exit stamp on his passport, ITV reported. Thirteen other protestors – arrested in September and charged with hooliganism for a protest at an offshore Russian oil drilling rig – have also received the exit stamp which allows them to leave Russia. The rest of the so-called “Arctic 30,”” are expected to go through the process Friday (December 27).

The charges were dropped after Russia’s parliament passed an amnesty law that was seen as an attempt by the Kremlin to deflect criticism of its human rights record in advance of the Winter Olympic Games being held in Russia in February, according to the Guardian.

From a train bound for Helsinki, Litvinov said Russia owed him a medal rather than a pardon for his protest work. “The Arctic has still not been saved and there’s a lot to be done” he said.

Defense Dept. photo

Defense Dept. photo

ARCTIC NATION is an occasional 4GWAR posting on the Arctic. The U.S. “National Strategy for the Arctic Region” describes the United States as “an Arctic Nation with broad and fundamental interests in the Arctic Region, where we seek to meet our national security needs, protect the environment, responsibly manage resources, account for indigenous communities, support scientific research, and strengthen international cooperation on a wide range of issues.”

December 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Happy Holidays Around the World

NORAD Tracking Santa

As we write this, Santa Claus is somewhere over New England on his annual whirlwind trip around the world dispensing toys and other presents.

We know this because NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is tracking the jolly old elf through one of the most effective radar detection systems the world has ever seen. The joint U.S.-Canadian air and space defense operation headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, has been keeping an eye on Santa’s yearly itinerary since 1955 when a child’s errant call to a department store hotline was answered at the air defense command by an Air Force colonel with a sense of whimsey. What started out as a kind gesture has turned into a tradition involving hundreds of volunteers including First Lady Michelle Obama.

But that’s not all the defenders of liberty and democracy doing this holiday season. From North Carolina to Japan, from Bahrain to Arizona and lots of places in between, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are keeping people safe, spreading a little seasonal cheer in their communities and bringing joy to some deserving little people. Below is a sample of some of the doings.Please click on the photos to enlarge them.

Your 4GWAR editor wishes all our visitors a happy and safe holiday season … and urges you all to keep watching the skies — you never know who may be flying by.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler J. Bolken

More than 2,000 guests are entertained by 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, accompanied by the Craven Community Choir, during the annual Christmas Concert 2011 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amanda Huntoon

Santa Claus greets sailors and their families a San Diego, California after landing in a Navy HS-60F Seahawk helicopter for the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 10 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 children’s Christmas party. The First Class Petty Officer Associations from both commands sponsored the event, which included bounce houses, balloon, animals, and gifts from Santa.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike Morris, 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron Loadmaster Flight Non-commissioned officer in charge, pushes a pallet of fuel onto a C-17 Globemaster III prior to a mission Dec. 23. The 816th EAS airdropped 40 pallets of fuel to remote forward operating bases in Afghanistan. The fuel will be used for generators, heaters and vehicles. Morris is deployed from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.

U.S. Army photos by Staff Sgt. Sharilyn Wells

Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division — and toys — prepare for the 14th annual Randy Oler Toy Drop at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The toy drop is an annual event where soldiers donate new, unwrapped toys and also get a chance to train and jump with international jumpmasters. The donated toys are distributed to underprivileged children within the community.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Martin Platek

U.S. Marine Corps Medium Helicopter Squadron 764 (HMM-764) of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, flew CH-46E helicopters into the Grand Canyon, over Supai Village, during the beginning stages of Operation Havasupai. HMM-764’s mission was to  join the Flagstaff Community Toys For Tots Organization in delivering Santa Claus and toys to children of the Havasupai tribe, as well as conduct training operations throughout  the Grand Canyon.

Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Martin Platek

Here’s a bird’s eye view of the rough and remote country the Marine helos visited.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cynthia Z. De Leon

Children from the Bahrain School sing Christmas carols to U.S. service members and civilian employees at the Naval Support Center on the Middle East island nation.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod

Sometimes the troops and their families are on the receiving end of holiday generosity. More than 800 tree growers and their customers donated about 900 trees to Fort Bragg soldiers through the Christmas Spirit Foundation’s Trees for Troops program. 

December 25, 2011 at 12:54 am Leave a comment


June 2023


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