Atmospheric conditions over the Antarctic turn the contrails of this USAF C-141 Starlifter red. Purchase the “Bloodsmoke” calendar, poster or framed art print for your office or den at The PatriArt Gallery.
Operation Deep Freeze, the U.S. military’s support of the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation, is scheduled to kick off the 2008-2009 season Sept. 4 as the first C-17 Globemaster III delivers passengers and cargo to McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
The C-17, based out of McChord Air Force Base, Washington, will fly multiple missions from Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, to McMurdo Station as part of SpringFly Sept. 4-10. Christchurch is the staging point for deployment to McMurdo Station, a key research and operations facility for the U.S. Antarctic Program.
Formerly known as WinFly, SpringFly is the ODF ramp-up phase to prepare buildings and equipment, as well as pave the overland traverse to the South Pole, in preparation for the arrival of the main body of military and civilian personnel during the main season in October.
ODF involves operational and logistic support of the National Science Foundation’s scientific research activities in Antarctica by U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard forces. This support is provided by members of the Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica headquartered here and led by Lt. Gen. Loyd S. “Chip” Utterback, 13th Air Force and JTF SFA commander.
JTF-SFA personnel coordinate strategic intertheater airlift, tactical LC-130 deep field support, aeromedical evacuation support, search and rescue response, sealift, seaport access, bulk fuel supply, port cargo handling and transportation requirements for ODF. Active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard work together as part of the Joint Task Force.
Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and most inhospitable continent on the globe. The U.S. military are uniquely equipped and trained to operate in such an austere environment and has therefore provided support to the U.S. Antarctic Program since 1955.