Air Force Completes 500th Deep Freeze Mission

Airmen with the 62nd Airlift Wing and Air Force Reserve Command’s 446th Airlift Wing from JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., completed the 500th C-17 airlift mission into Antarctica as part of Operation Deep Freeze, the US military’s logistical support of US scientific research on the barren continent. A McChord C-17, flying from Christchurch, New Zealand, under the call sign “Ice 11,” on Oct. 14 carried personnel and cargo bound for the ice research outpost at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, according to McChord’s Oct. 16 release. Upon the mission’s completion, C-17s had transported a total of 40,000 passengers and nearly 45 million pounds of cargo to Antarctica under Deep Freeze since 1999, states the release. “We are extremely proud of this milestone. Five hundred missions is a significant accomplishment,” said Col. Wyn Elder, 62nd AW commander. McChord’s airmen have completed these 500 missions without a mishap, states the release. The Air Force plans to fly 48 missions during the 2012-13 Deep Freeze season, which is slated for completion in March.