An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Dec. 11, 2007

Operation Deep Freeze main season underway

By Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo Air Force Print News

McMURDO STATION, Antarctica (AFPN) - Active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen from McChord Air Force Base, Wash., and the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing, combined efforts to support the 13th Air Force-led Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica, Operation Deep Freeze.

The main season, which opened Sept. 28, is the main science research season for the National Science Foundation in Antarctica. The population of McMurdo Station triples in size and it becomes a hive of activity.

The Air Force's role is to provide logistical support to the National Science Foundation via strategic and tactical airlift. C-17 Globemaster IIIs fly from Christchurch, New Zealand, to McMurdo Station, Anarctica, and LC-130 Hercules fly from the station to the outlying camps and the South Pole.

"We provide strategic airlift and tactical airlift for the National Science Foundation," said Lt. Col. Jim McGann, the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander. "In saying that, we bring cargo and people down there in a time-critical nature to get them onto the ice to do the required science and everything else they need to do in a short time," he said.

Once the C-17s bring in their large loads of equipment and people, the loads are broken down into smaller loads for the LC-130s.

"The LC-130s provide access to the deeper recesses of the continent," said Mike Scheuermann, the National Science Foundation representative in Antarctica. "We couldn't begin to do the research that we do without the LC-130s," he said.

The main research season for Antarctica is only about four months long. The NSF relies on the Air Force to get equipment and people in and out of Antarctica as efficiently as possible, minimizing the impact on the station and the continent and getting their research done in a timely manner.

Prior to the Air Force taking over the mission, If you had aircraft availability of 70 percent, that was a good target, Mr. Sheuermann said.

"The 109th (AW) with their LC-130s were at 97 percent aircraft availability last year. Just phenomenal, almost unheard of in my time," Mr. Sheuermann said.

It is critical that the C-17s and LC-130s get equipment, cargo and people where they need to be and back, Col. McGann said.

"When you start talking about traversing the large distances associated with Antarctica -- all provided by the military -- it has been an outstanding service," said Mr. Sheuermann. "We couldn't do it with out them."

 

 

Related Articles
Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 3rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team conducted a training proficiency exercise April 11, 2024, at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The team was evaluated by a U.S. Army North team.
Pennsylvania Guard WMD Civil Support Team Completes Exercise
By Wayne Hall, | April 12, 2024
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania National Guard’s 3rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team conducted a training exercise April 11 to validate its proficiency. In the exercise scenario, potentially contaminated...

Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marine Forces Reserve, and Maryland National Guard pose for a photo during Deliberate Response '24 at Warren Grove Range, New Jersey, April 6, 2024. The exercise demonstrated the partnership between the Maryland National Guard and the AFBiH through the State Partnership Program.
Maryland Guard, Bosnia and Herzegovina Conduct JTAC Training
By Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers, | April 12, 2024
WARREN GROVE, N.J. - Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in their first live-fire training exercise with state partner the Maryland National Guard April 2-6 at the...

Finnish Maj. Gen. Juha-Pekka Keränen, commander of the Finnish Air Force, meets with Virginia National Guard leaders April 8, 2024, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia. The VNG enjoys an enduring relationship with Finland that includes military training exchanges between Finnish Defence Forces and VNG Soldiers and Airmen.
Finnish Air Force Commander Meets Virginia Guard Leaders
By Mike Vrabel, | April 12, 2024
HAMPTON, Va. - Maj. Gen. Juha-Pekka Keränen, commander of the Finnish Air Force, met with Virginia National Guard leaders April 8 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the adjutant general of Virginia, Brig...