With springtime in Antarctica comes the resumption of Operation Deep Freeze, the US military’s logistical support mission to US scientific researchers in Antarctica. C-17s from JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., will join ski-equipped LC-130s from the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing in Scotia in ferrying supplies and researchers from Christchurch, New Zealand, to McMurdo Station, on Ross Island, Antarctica, through late February 2011. This is designated Deep Freeze’s 2010-11 season. Thirteenth Air Force at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, leads the combined joint task force that executes this mission. In addition to the airlift, the task force includes sealift capability. This season, C-17 aircrews will be using night-vision equipment to land in total darkness at McMurdo Station, a capability they debuted during the 2009-10 season. (Pearl Harbor-Hickam release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.