Defense

September 12, 2012

Airmen wrap up Winfly on the ‘ice’

Tags:
SSgt. Sean J. Tobin
JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Airmen from the 62nd and 446th Airlift Wings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord deployed to Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, to conduct winter flying into McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Aug. 29, 2012, in support of the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation. During the period, crews transported 388 passengers and 265,000 pounds of cargo into and out of the remote airfield in preperation for the main season of Operation Deep Freeze.

Despite operating in harsh conditions and experiencing multiple weather delays, the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, comprised of airmen from the 62nd and 446th Airlift Wings at McChord Field, completed its winter flying period into McMurdo Station, Antarctica Aug. 29, in support of the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation.

During the period, known as WinFly, crews completed six missions aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The aircraft was deployed from McChord Field and delivered 319 passengers and more than 230,000 pounds of cargo to the remote, icy airfield. Additionally, 69 passengers and more than 35,000 pounds of cargo were transported out of McMurdo.

Using Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand as the base of operations, the mission of WinFly is to deliver advance teams and cargo to the remote research center in preparation for the main season of Operation Deep Freeze.

During the period leading up to main season, the research center will swell from approximately 150 NSF and support personnel to roughly ten times that size, helped largely by the efforts of the 304th EAS, said Lt. Col. Brent Keenan, the 62nd Operations Group deputy commander and ODF commander.

Members of the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron stand beside a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft deployed to Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., to conduct winter flying into McMurdo Station, Antarctica. During the period, crews transported 388 passengers and 265,000 pounds of cargo into and out of the remote airfield in preperation for the main season of Operation Deep Freeze.

These operations are unlike any other U.S. military operations and present unique challenges for all members involved.

Weather and visibility are the two major factors which increase the difficulty of the mission, said Capt. Rok Dedic, 62 AW instructor pilot and one of the pilots involved in the missions.

“In Antarctica, the weather changes at a moment’s notice,” said Dedic.

The unpredictable weather caused the first mission into McMurdo to be aborted after takeoff.

“The weather was good, we launched our mission and by the time we reached our point of safe return, we had to turn around and come back to Christchurch due to a change in weather,” said Dedic.

Despite the delays, the crews completed all six missions just slightly behind the estimated completion time.

“The weather support team did an excellent job analyzing weather trends to assist in determining the best launch times,” said Keenan. “The 304th maintenance team also did an outstanding job keeping the jet mission capable,” said Keenan.

The final five missions were completed over the span of just 86 1/2 hours and only 16 1/2 of those hours were spent on the ground at Christchurch, said Keenan. This shows how well the weather and maintenance teams worked to ensure the aircraft had minimal downtime.

In addition to delivering NSF personnel and cargo into and out of McMurdo, the 304th EAS also completed valuable training to include seven pilots getting trained and certified to perform nighttime landings at McMurdo using night vision goggles.

“This training has better equipped us to perform emergency support operations for the NSF during the winter months,” said Keenan.

The main season of ODF is scheduled to begin Oct. 1.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 
 
ILS photograph

Boeing-built satellite will create first global high-speed broadband network

ILS photograph The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Aug. 28 aboard a International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–When the third Boeing-built [NYSE: BA] Inmarsat-5 sat...
 
 

Civil Air Patrol joins total force ‘Airmen’

When conducting missions for the Air Force as the official Air Force auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Air Force’s definition of the total force. CAP has provided 74 years of support to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In August 2015, the Air Force updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,”...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 
 
LM-C130

U.S. Air Force receives additional MC-130J Commando II

MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 27, 2015 – A crew from the U.S. Air Force Aug. 27 ferried a new MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command to Cannon Air Force Base, N.., from the Lockheed Martin facilit...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>