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Joint task force kicks off 65th year of DoD Antarctic mission support

Passengers disembark a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Sept. 14, 2020. The C-17 aircrew completed Winter Fly-In missions from New Zealand to Antarctica, carrying 151 passengers and more than 165,000 pounds of cargo to and from the remote station. (Courtesy Photo)

Passengers disembark a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Sept. 14, 2020. The C-17 aircrew completed Winter Fly-In missions from New Zealand to Antarctica, carrying 151 passengers and more than 165,000 pounds of cargo to and from the remote station. (Courtesy Photo)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

A U.S. Air Force Globemaster III, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., completed three winter fly-in, or WinFly, missions of the 2020-2021 Operation Deep Freeze season.

The aircraft delivered 151 personnel and 165K pounds of cargo to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. These missions were flown using COVID mitigation procedures due to the passenger movement.

Operation Deep Freeze is a joint service, inter-agency support for the National Science Foundation (NSF), which manages the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). Joint Task Force-Support Forces Antarctica (JTF-SFA) provides Department of Defense support to the NSF and the USAP through ODF.

“The 2020-2021 ODF season marks the 61st Anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty and the 65th year of military dedication, ingenuity and labor in support of the Antarctic mission,” said Col. Jamielyn Thompson, JTF-SFA deputy commander. “Each season presents new challenges and this year was no different as we took special precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while also providing 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.

The ODF season runs annually, August 1st through July 31st. This timeframe allows the NSF’s research teams and partnered entities the safest and most efficient method of accomplishing their joint goals.