The U.S. Air Force has begun flying missions as part of the 2021-2022 Operation Deep Freeze.
The first Winter Fly-in was accomplished by a C-17 Globemaster III based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State.
The aircraft delivered approximately 100 people and 48.5K pounds of cargo to McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
Operation Deep Freeze is a joint service, inter-agency support for the National Science Foundation, which manages the United States Antarctic Program. Joint Task Force-Support Forces Antarctica, provides Department of Defense support to the NSF and the USAP through ODF.
“The 2021-2022 ODF season is another opportunity to demonstrate our military dedication, ingenuity and labor in support of the Antarctic mission,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Johnson, JTF-SFA acting deputy commander. “We took all appropriate measures to prevent COVID-19 [and] still were able to provide transportation and logistics to the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation.”
JTF-SFA coordinates strategic inter-theater airlift, tactical deep field support, aeromedical evacuation support, search and rescue response, sealift, seaport access, bulk fuel supply logistics, port cargo handling, and transportation requirements for the NSF mission.
The ODF season runs Aug. 1 to July 31, 2022, allowing the NSF’s research teams and partnered entities the safest weather and best timeframe to accomplish their joint missions.