Operation Santa Claus 2009 - Gambell
Bianca Iyakitan, 5, enjoys an ice cream sundae provided by Rich Owens, owner of the Alaska Tastee Freez restaurant, in the gymnasium of the Gambell Public School Dec. 16, 2009. A long-time supporter of the Alaska National Guard, Rich is known unofficially as commander of the 176th Ice Cream Squadron. The Alaska Air and Army National Guard were in Gambell, on remote St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, with a group of civilian volunteers as part of Operation Santa Claus. Now in its 53rd year, Operation Santa Claus is a program of the Alaska National Guard to bring toys, food, supplies and Christmas cheer to isolated villages around the state. Alaska Air National Guard photo by 1st. Lt. John Callahan.