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Happy holiday links

You won't find Santa Claus in the command structure on your PowerPoint org chart, but he is nonetheless one of the most highly visible users of American military power.

Santa is super-joint, completely inter-operable and comfortable across the broad spectrum of operations. He utilizes every tool in the toolkit, when he needs to; he is willing to reach across any organizational boundary to get the job done. And good thing for all of us that Santa has such a strong relationship with the armed services, or he might not be able to reach many of the places he needs to go.

When he needs to deliver presents to the Havasupai Native American tribe, living at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, he hitches a ride aboard a CH-46 with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764. When he needs to take food, gifts and holiday cheer up to  St. Paul Island, Alaska, he loads up an Alaska Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III. When family members gather on the pier to welcome home the crew of the fast-attack submarine USS Miami, Santa is topside to make sure the ship pulls in safely.

He's trained with SEAL special operators; he's helped drive the 1st Cavalry Division's horse-drawn wagon; and he's rappelled from an HH-60 Pave Hawk at Kadena Air Base, Japan. You never know where he might end up.

Except on Dec. 25, when Santa opts to employ his own integral air transport capability, rather than requesting assistance from U.S. commanders. (Not that TRANSCOM necessarily gets a day off.) But Santa's strong relationship with the U.S. military remains in effect, of course -- it keeps tabs on his progress in the world's greatest logistics mission via NORAD, which will be tracking him this weekend like every year.

In the meantime, blogging here on Buzz is secured for the holiday -- have a great one and we'll see you back here next week.

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