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
337,084
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Papua New Guinea
Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to Papua New Guinea
Jan. 30, 2023 - PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea -- Admiral John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to Papua New Guinea January 29-30 to underscore the U.S. commitment to advance shared interests toward building a...

Austin Looks to Build on Strengths of Alliances With South Korea, the Philippines
In this file photo, an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Blue Diamonds” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 approaches for an arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is in 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Jan. 30, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- The security environment in the Indo-Pacific is growing more complex and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will meet with allies in the Republic of Korea and the Philippines to continue efforts to...

Australia, Japan, U.S. Stand Up Multinational Task Force for Cope North
Jan. 30, 2023 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Air forces from Australia, Japan, and the United States have begun arriving in Guam to establish the command and control multinational task force for Cope North (CN) 2023, which runs...

USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) Completes Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) fires the Mark 45 5-inch light-weight gun during a live-fire exercise while operating in the Philippine Sea, Jan. 20. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.
Jan. 30, 2023 - YOKOSUKA, Japan -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) completed Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT), Jan. 25.The 10-day exercise was designed to enhance warfighting...

U.S. Navy Builds on Philippine Partnership with VP-10
Naval Aircrewman (operator) 2nd Class William Pottenger (top) and Naval Aircrewman (operator) 3rd Class Justin Fruci, both assigned to the “Red Lancers” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, explain mission work stations during a tour of a P-8A Poseidon as part of a weeklong engagement promoting joint regional security and partnerships out of Mactan, Philippines. VP-10 is based in Jacksonville, Florida and is currently operating from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. It conducts maritime patrol and reconnaissance, as well as theater outreach operations, as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
Jan. 30, 2023 - MACTAN-BENITO EBUEN AIR BASE, Philippines -- The “Red Lancers” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 10 wrapped up a weeklong engagement with personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Mactan, Philippines, Jan. 27.Designed to...