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Operation Deep Freeze leader visits USTRANSCOM

U.S. Transportation Command supports Operation Deep Freeze through the Air Mobility Command (Air Force component) and Military Sealift Command (Navy component).

Dr. Karl Erb, director of the United States National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs, stopped by USTRANSCOM, Jan. 12, to share information on this year’s Operation Deep Freeze with Gen. William M. Fraser III, USTRANSCOM commander, and staff members.

During the yearly resupply mission to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, approximately 36 active duty and Air Force reserve personnel deploy to Christchurch, New Zealand to support Air Mobility Command C-17 operations.  Military Sealift Command cargo vessels and tankers also take part in the operation.

 “We’re going to talk about changes in Antarctica, with the budget pressures that we all face both on the civilian side and Department of Defense,” Erb said.  “We’re going to have to find ways to get the job done in Antarctica and the Department of Defense, in particular the Air Force and Air National Guard, are really key players to get the job done more efficiently.

“We’re getting Gen. Fraser to Antarctica for a first-hand view of the way his operation supports Antarctica,” Erb continued.  “So we’re here to brief him on what to expect when he gets there.”

According to Paul Yates, USTRANSCOM, J3-WP deputy branch chief/transportation specialist, there are 63 planned C-17 missions From Christchurch, N.Z. to McMurdo, Antarctica, which will move approximately 5000 passengers and 2400 short tons of cargo between the locations.  Operations are scheduled to end in February.


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