When It Just Has To Get There

The airmen supporting the National Science Foundation research mission in Antarctica are critical. In fact, NSF representative Mike Scheuermann said, “We couldn’t do it without them.” He expressed amazement that the C-17s providing the strategic airlift from New Zealand to McMurdo Station in Antarctica hasn’t had one mechanical cancellation. And, the ski-equipped LC-130s that distribute supplies, equipment, and personnel from McMurdo to various camps maintained a 97 percent aircraft availability rate during last year’s Operation Deep Freeze. He called that “almost unheard of in my time.” Active and Air Force Reserve Command aircrews and maintainers from McChord AFB, Wash., operate and maintain the C-17s, while the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing, as usual, supplies the LC-130s. (Report by TSgt. Shane Cuomo.)