On the Ice:

The most recent Operation Deep Freeze Winter Fly-in mission concluded this past weekend, when a C-17 from McChord AFB, Wash., took off from Pegasus White Ice Runway in Antarctica. (The initial runs were made before the station personnel prepared the ice runway.) Air Force photojournalist TSgt. Shane Cuomo reports that 304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron members flew 355 passengers and 119,953 pounds of cargo to and from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, ferrying the people and supplies they need to prepare the station for the research season and the arrival of the bulk of the scientists and support personnel. The C-17 carried an overload of airmen—31 in all—to handle all the extra tasks needed when the temperature is minus 40 degrees. The pilots cycle through the flight controls to keep hydraulic fluids warm, while maintainers put heaters around to keep landing gear and engines from freezing up. Capt. Cory Simmons, pilot, said: “When we land, everyone is doing something. The crew is large, not because of training, but because we have eyes on everything to make sure there’s no problems.”