Deep Freeze’s Winter Flying Season Concludes

Members of the 62nd Airlift Wing and Air Force Reserve Command’s 446th AW at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., recently wrapped up the winter flying season in Antarctica in support of US scientific research on the barren continent. A McChord C-17 transport deployed to Christchurch, New Zealand, completed six missions, delivering 319 passengers and more than 230,000 pounds of cargo to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, despite multiple weather delays, said McChord officials in a Sept. 12 release. The team also transported 69 passengers and more than 35,000 pounds of cargo out of the remote Antarctic airfield, they said. WinFly, as it is known, began on Aug. 20 and was completed nine days later. “The weather support team did an excellent job analyzing weather trends to assist in determining the best launch times,” said Lt. Col. Brent Keenan, who commanded the McChord contingent. He added that McChord maintainers “also did an outstanding job keeping the jet mission-capable.” The main season for US airlifters and transport ships supporting the scientific research is scheduled to begin on Oct. 1. (McChord report by SSgt. Sean J. Tobin)