Rescue at the Bottom of the World

The Air Force dispatched a C-17 transport on a medical flight to Antarctica to evacuate a seriously ill contractor supporting National Science Foundation research there. Departing its home station of JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., Tuesday, the aircraft landed briefly at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, where a 13th Air Force medical team embarked. The C-17 then continued on to the Antarctic. Described in serious though stable condition, the patient was slated for evacuation to medical facilities at Christchurch, New Zealand, to undergo treatment. Given the limited treatment options on Antarctica, the NSF asked the USAF-led Joint Task Force-Support Forces Antarctica to send the C-17 to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, for the evacuation. The task force provides logistical support to US scientific researchers near the South Pole. (Pearl Harbor-Hickam release)