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 : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | April 29, 2021

Operation Deep Freeze Completes Another Successful Season Despite Pandemic Concerns

By Edzel Butac 446th Airlift Wing Public Affair

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
Though it is another season for the books, the 2020-2021 season of Operation Deep Freeze (ODF) ends as a highlight for one Reserve Citizen Airman’s career.

Chief Master Sgt. Ty Brooks, a loadmaster assigned to the 313th Airlift Squadron, has been participating in ODF for 18 years. Brooks, who will retire from the Air Force Reserve this summer, says ODF is one of the highlights of his more than 40-year career.

“I’ll certainly miss working with the staff and crew, and the Kiwi folks that work so hard in support of the Antarctic mission. Of course, flying over the continent of Antarctica never gets old. I won’t miss the cold though.”

Team McChord successfully completed its 2020-2021 season of Operation Deep Freeze March 26.

“This was the 21st season in a row of accident-free Antarctic operations performed by the C-17 teams,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Tellez, Air Mobility Command C-17 Antarctic Mission commander, who is also assigned to the 62nd Airlift Wing.

It was unlike any other season this year. With a raging pandemic across the globe, crews had to adjust to a different set of challenges alongside the frozen landscape of Antarctica.

“The difference this year was COVID-19,” said Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Emmert, ODF superintendent assigned to the 446th Operations Group. “We had to send each rotation into New Zealand two-weeks early in order to do a two-week isolation. Once we were released from isolation and started flying the missions to Antarctica, we had to ensure anytime we were next to cargo or passengers that we had masks and gloves on. The United States Antarctic Program (USAP) and NSF did not want to take any chances on letting the virus enter Antarctica.”

Despite the risk mitigation efforts, the crews still delivered more than three million pounds of cargo, conducted two aeromedical evacuations, and transported more than 1,000 people all while landing on a shortened runway impacted after an Antarctic storm.

“With all the changes and difficulties that had to be endured for COVID-19 operations this last ODF season, everyone involved was ready and willing to do what was asked of them for total mission success,” said Brooks.

The 446th and 62nd Airlift Wings, flying the C-17 Globemaster III, offer unparalleled Department of Defense support to the National Science Foundation (NSF)-managed U.S. Antarctic Program, with operations that began in late September. ODF is unlike any other U.S. military operation. ODF is one of the military's most difficult peacetime missions due to the harsh Antarctic environment. The U.S. military is uniquely equipped and trained to operate in such an austere environment and has therefore provided support to the USAP since 1955.

The ODF season runs annually Aug. 1 through July 31 with the main season ending in February-March timeframe. This timeframe allows the NSF’s research teams and partnered entities the safest and most efficient method of accomplishing their joint goals.

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
332,234
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
RED FLAG-Alaska 23-1 Set to Begin with Multiple Allied Partners Participating
A Royal Air Force C-130J assigned to the No. 47 Squadron from RAF Brize Norton, England, sits on the flightline during RED FLAG-Alaska 22-1 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 4, 2022. Approximately 2,220 service members from three nations participate in flying, maintaining and supporting more than 90 aircraft from over 25 units during this iteration of the exercise. RF-A enables joint and international units to train together to improve combat skills in a controlled environment.
Oct. 6, 2022 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- RED FLAG-Alaska 23-1 is set to begin from Oct. 6 – 21, just a few days away.Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson residents and the local community will see multiple aircraft with various...

Readout of U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday Meeting with Singapore’s Chief of Navy Rear Adm. Aaron Beng
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and his wife Linda, meet with Singapore’s Chief of Navy Rear Adm. Aaron Beng and his wife Sharon Koh, in Venice, Italy, at the Trans-Regional Seapower Symposium, Oct. 5. RSS is the leading forum in the wider Mediterranean region, hosting the largest gathering of international navy leaders, organizations and agencies with a key role in the maritime dimension.
Oct. 6, 2022 - U.S. Navy -- Today, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday met with Singapore’s Chief of Navy Rear Adm. Aaron Beng in Venice, Italy, at the Trans-Regional Seapower Symposium.The two leaders discussed maritime security and...

15th Wing, JASDF Increase Interoperability during First Bilateral Exercise
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Girard, 535th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, briefs two members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Koku-Jieitai) during a training exercise around the Hawaiian Islands, Sept. 27, 2022. This is the first bilateral exercise between the squadrons, increasing interoperability and familiarizing both forces on the capabilities of the Kawasaki C-2 and C-17 Globemaster III.
Oct. 6, 2022 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Koku-Jieitai) Airmen spent three days training alongside 15th Wing Airmen, strengthening partnerships and familiarizing both forces with the Kawasaki C-2...

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Phone Call With Malaysian Minister of Defense Hishammuddin Hussein
Oct. 6, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Malaysian Minister of Defense Hishammuddin Hussein on October 5 to...

U.S. Continues Support for Pandemic Response, Disaster Recovery in Surigao Del Norte
USAID Office of Health Director Michelle Lang-Alli and Humanitarian Assistance Officer Rachel Gallagher join Surigao Del Norte Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers at the turnover ceremony of COVID-19 response supplies and equipment on September 27.
Oct. 6, 2022 - MANILA, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines -- The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), recently delivered additional COVID-19 response supplies and humanitarian assistance to...