Deep Freeze members help commemorate Scott 50th anniversary


Providing support to the U.S. Antarctic Program

Col. Ron Smith, Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force-Support Forces Antarctica, explains the unique and ongoing mission of Operation DEEP FREEZE to New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Mr. Paul Hargreaves, Chairman, Antarctica Programs New Zealand, who were in Antarctica for the 50th anniversary of Scott Base. The 13th Air Force-led JTF-SFA, Operation Deep Freeze, is the U.S. military’s support of the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Antarctic Program. ODF is the name given to operational and logistic support conducted by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard since 1955.

Release Number: 110107

1/24/2007 - HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- Members of Joint Task Force, Support Forces Antarctica, Operation Deep Freeze, participated in events at Scott Base, Ross Island, Antarctica, Jan. 20 to commemorate the base's 50th Anniversary. Antarctica New Zealand sponsored the event, which invited a host of U.S. and New Zealand diplomats and political leaders. The National Science Foundation, as manager of the U.S. Antarctic Program, hosted the U.S. contingent.

On Jan. 10, 1957, a bulldozer and a party of Seabees from McMurdo station leveled the site where Scott Base now stands, beginning 50 years of cooperative effort between the United States and New Zealand. Sir Edmund Hillary, present at the weekend's events, was leader of the group who founded the base, and has always given a gracious debt of gratitude to then-Operation Deep Freeze Commander, U.S. Admiral George J. Dufek, who assisted in the effort to establish the permanent residency by the New Zealanders.

JTF SFA is the U.S. Air Force-led joint task force conducting Operation Deep Freeze, a mission that has supported the National Science Foundation and U.S. Antarctic Program since 1955.

The current season of Operation Deep Freeze kicked off in August 2006, with the deployment of a C-17 from McChord Air Force Base, Wa., to Christchurch, New Zealand; followed in October by five LC-130 aircraft launched from the 109th Air Wing, New York Air National Guard to the ice.

To date, C-17s from Christchurch have flown 46 missions moving more than 3,650 passengers and 3,300,000 pounds of cargo to McMurdo Station; LC-130s have flown 362 missions moving more than 8.8 million pounds of cargo and 600 passengers to the U.S. South Pole Station and various austere deep field camps throughout Antarctica. The U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Polar Sea has cut an ice channel 23 nautical miles long to allow access to McMurdo ice pier by the USNS Paul Buck, a fuel tanker; and the USNS American Tern, a cargo ship.

For more information, contact Thirteenth Air Force Public Affairs at 449-7985 or For more information about Scott Base's 50th anniversary, visit