Annual Operation DEEP FREEZE to commence Sept. 28 Published Sept. 23, 2015 Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The U.S. military will kick off the 2015-2016 season of Operation DEEP FREEZE, the Department of Defense’s support of the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation, with operations commencing Sept. 28. This support is provided by Joint Task Force-Support Forces Antarctica, led by Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. JTF-SFA coordinates strategic inter-theater airlift, tactical deep field support, aeromedical evacuation support, search and rescue response, sealift, seaport access, bulk fuel supply, port cargo handling and transportation requirements. Active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard work together as part of JTF-SFA. This team proudly continues the tradition of U.S. military support to the USAP and demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a stable Pacific region. Airlift for Operation DEEP FREEZE involves active duty and Reserve C-17 Globemaster III support from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, LC-130 Hercules support from the New York Air National Guard, sealift support from the U.S. Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command, engineering and aviation services from U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, cargo handling from the U.S. Navy and public health and veterinary services support from the U.S. Army. Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, serves as the staging point for deployments to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, a key research and operations facility for the USAP. Operation DEEP FREEZE is unlike any other U.S. military operation. It is one of the military's most difficult peacetime missions due to the harsh Antarctic environment. The U.S. military is uniquely equipped and trained to operate in such an austere environment and has therefore provided support to the USAP since 1955.