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RAF Mildenhall Airmen help local children ‘radio’ Santa

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Roy Smith, 100th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, operates a radio as children from Great Heath Academy, Mildenhall, Suffolk, talk with Santa Dec. 18, 2018. A team of three Airmen from RAF Mildenhall visited Great Heath Academy and Beck Row Primary Academy to give early years students a chance to talk to Santa about what presents they would like for Christmas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Roy Smith, 100th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, operates a radio as children from Great Heath Academy, Mildenhall, Suffolk, talk with Santa Dec. 18, 2018. A team of three Airmen from RAF Mildenhall visited Great Heath Academy and Beck Row Primary Academy to give early years students a chance to talk to Santa about what presents they would like for Christmas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

U.S. Air Force Roy Smith, Airman 1st Class Logan Westbrooks and Senior Airman Alan Deng all 100th Communications Squadron members, pose for a photo at Great Heath Academy, Mildenhall, Suffolk, before “Radio Santa” Dec. 18, 2018. Radio Santa is a program run by 100th CS Airmen from RAF Mildenhall, which provides young local school children the opportunity to talk to Santa Claus. The Airmen also visited children at Beck Row Primary Academy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

U.S. Air Force Roy Smith, Airman 1st Class Logan Westbrooks and Senior Airman Alan Deng all 100th Communications Squadron members, pose for a photo at Great Heath Academy, Mildenhall, Suffolk, before “Radio Santa” Dec. 18, 2018. Radio Santa is a program run by 100th CS Airmen from RAF Mildenhall, which provides young local school children the opportunity to talk to Santa Claus. The Airmen also visited children at Beck Row Primary Academy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Roy Smith, 100th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, operates a radio as children from Great Heath Academy, Mildenhall, Suffolk, talk with Santa Dec. 18, 2018. A team of three Airmen from RAF Mildenhall visited Great Heath Academy and Beck Row Primary Academy to give early years students a chance to talk to Santa about what presents they would like for Christmas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Roy Smith, 100th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, operates a radio as children from Great Heath Academy, Mildenhall, Suffolk, talk with Santa Dec. 18, 2018. A team of three Airmen from RAF Mildenhall visited Great Heath Academy and Beck Row Primary Academy to give early years students a chance to talk to Santa about what presents they would like for Christmas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Roy Smith, 100th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, operates a radio as an early years student from Great Heath Academy, Mildenhall, Suffolk, talk with Santa Dec. 18, 2018. A team of three Airmen from RAF Mildenhall visited Great Heath Academy and Beck Row Primary Academy to give students a chance to talk to Santa about what presents they would like for Christmas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Roy Smith, 100th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, operates a radio as an early years student from Great Heath Academy, Mildenhall, Suffolk, talk with Santa Dec. 18, 2018. A team of three Airmen from RAF Mildenhall visited Great Heath Academy and Beck Row Primary Academy to give students a chance to talk to Santa about what presents they would like for Christmas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

RAF MILDENHALL, England --

Young faces lit up with joy and excitement filled the room when children from Great Heath Academy had the chance to talk to Santa Dec. 18, 2018, with the help of Airmen from the 100th Communications Squadron.

 

“Radio Santa” provided a direct line of communication between school children and Santa Claus via land mobile radios before he begins his worldwide delivery of presents on Christmas Eve. This was the second year the 100th Communications Squadron Airmen have assisted in connecting Mildenhall and the North Pole.

 

“I felt that personally it would be a good chance to give back to a community that I’ve lived in for the past couple of years. Christmas has always been special, and having been here alone, it’s nice not just for myself but to get other people involved, such as kids who don’t necessarily get the chance at home to have connection time with Santa Claus,” said Airman 1st Class Logan Westbrooks, 100th CS client systems technician, who helped with the Radio Santa event.

 

“It’s good for our base as well because it means we get some outreach into the local community; there’s sometimes a stigma with the military that they are here for themselves, but by doing this we can show we as RAF Mildenhall do much more than just our jobs,” Westbrooks added.

 

The Radio Santa team gave 90 early years children, ages 4 and 5, the opportunity to talk with Santa. They were excited when he already knew what they wanted for Christmas, and the names of their brothers, sisters and pets.

 

The RAF Mildenhall Airmen also visited Beck Row Academy children earlier in the week, and gave them the same opportunity.

 

“The children are already excited about their learning, so to be able to get them a little bit curious and wondering about Santa is wonderful,” said Emily Mitchinson, Great Heath Academy assistant principal for lower school. “This has hooked their imaginations and encourages them to listen – plus it’s all good fun.

 

“It’s great for us to make links with RAF Mildenhall and that’s something we want to continue to do. A lot of our children’s parents work on base so I think this has been great to show the interaction, and we really appreciate the help,” Mitchinson said.