FORT BENNING, Ga. (Dec. 11, 2018) - The rumbles of motorcycle engines filled the air, signaling the arrival of reindeer, Santa and Mrs. Clause to the lawn of Riverside Dec. 6 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The annual Christmas at Riverside event brought together the Fort Benning community for fellowship, gifts, Santa and the lighting of the post's Christmas tree.

The Maneuver Center of Excellence commanding general, Maj. Gen. Gary M. Brito, assisted by children from the crowd, kicked off the event by flipping the switch to light the tree prior to the arrival of Santa and his reindeer, who rode into the celebration on motorcycles.

Brito said he was more than thrilled to be at the event, especially to see the happiness displayed by the young children. Brito continued to express his appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the Fort Benning community.

"I want to thank the Families of the Soldiers and the community that supports us," said Brito. "I wish them a very joyous season and happy holidays and to continue to be safe and prosper as a team."

Staff Sgt. Joseph Reap, a drill sergeant with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Benning, brought his wife and their two daughters, ages 7 and 5, to enjoy the festivities.

"I feel like we spend so much time away from our Families to train trainees, so to be able to come out to an event like this with our Families is really important to us," said Reap.

He added he enjoyed the set-up of the event and how excited his daughters were to be there, especially to see Santa.

To see more photos from the event, visit