Monday, September 08, 2008

Operation Deep Freeze 2008-2009 season begins

C-17 Globemaster III's from McChord Air Force Base, Wash., will be shuttling supplies, equipment and personnel for Operation Deep Freeze. The 2008-2009 season for ODF began Sept. 4. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Erika Yepsen)

Operation Deep Freeze, the U.S. military's support of the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation, kicked off the 2008-2009 season on Sept. 4 as the first C-17 Globemaster III delivers passengers and cargo to McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

The C-17, based out of McChord Air Force Base, Washington, will fly multiple missions from Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, to McMurdo Station as part of SpringFly Sept. 4-10. Christchurch is the staging point for deployment to McMurdo Station, a key research and operations facility for the U.S. Antarctic Program.

Formerly known as WinFly, SpringFly is the ODF ramp-up phase to prepare buildings and equipment, as well as pave the overland traverse to the South Pole, in preparation for the arrival of the main body of military and civilian personnel during the main season in October.

ODF involves operational and logistic support of the National Science Foundation's scientific research activities in Antarctica by U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard forces. This support is provided by members of the Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica headquartered here and led by Lt. Gen. Loyd S. "Chip" Utterback, 13th Air Force and JTF SFA commander.

JTF-SFA personnel coordinate strategic intertheater airlift, tactical LC-130 deep field support, aeromedical evacuation support, search and rescue response, sealift, seaport access, bulk fuel supply, port cargo handling and transportation requirements for ODF. Active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard work together as part of the Joint Task Force.

Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and most inhospitable continent on the globe. The U.S. military are uniquely equipped and trained to operate in such an austere environment and has therefore provided support to the U.S. Antarctic Program since 1955.

Frequency information for Operation Deep Freeze:
HF and VHF frequencies used in Antarctica
Source: Field Manual for the US Antarctica Program

HF Comms
Primary HF transmission mode is USB. Communications between Antarctica field parties and fixed-wing aircraft normally occur on 9032 kHz. If a fixed-wing aircraft cannot be reached on that frequency, they use 4770 kHz or 11553 kHz to contact MAC Ops at McMurdo. Helo secondary frequency is 9032 kHz. The primary frequencies for passing weather observations is:

• 11553 kHz for remote-site field parties.
• 4770 kHz for Dry Valley and surrounding areas field parties.

McMurdo Station
Frequency Channel Description
4770 kHz Ross Island and Dry Valley Field Parties
5100 kHz Air-to-Ground
5400 kHz Scott Base Field Parties
7995 kHz Remote/South Pole
9032 kHz Air-to-Ground
11553 kHz Remote Field Parties

Palmer Station
Frequency Channel Description
4125 kHz Secondary USAP Field Parties
11553 kHz Primary USAP Field Parties

VHF Comms
McMurdo Frequency Plan (For vehicle and handheld radios in the McMurdo vicinity):
Transmit Receive CH Net Name freq. (MHz) freq. (MHz)
1* I-Net (T-Site ) 143.000 143.000
2* Crash Net (T-Site) 139.600 139.600
3* NZ Portable 142.800 138.800
4* NZ Crater Hill 139.300 143.800
5 Public Works (T-Site) 139.000 142.600
6 Airfield Ops 139.200 139.200
7 Science Net 139.500 139.500
8 Field Party Ops 138.600 143.225 (Aurora repeater)
9 Fuels Net (T-Site) 143.600 143.600
10 Movement Control Center 139.800 143.725 ( U.S. Crater Hill repeater)
11 Helo Ops 143.400 143.400
12 Penguin Ops/ANG 143.200 143.200

Further Field Party Frequency Plan (For portable and handheld VHF radios issued to science groups and support personnel deploying to the Dry Valleys, sea ice camps, and Ross Island camps):
Transmit ReceiveCH Net Name freq. (MHz) freq. (MHz)
1* I-Net (T-Site ) 143.000 143.000
2* Crash Net (T-Site) 139.600 139.600
3 Science Net 139.500 139.500
4 Helo Ops 143.400 143.400
5* NZ Crater Hill 139.300 143.800
6 Helo Flight Following 138.500 143.975
7 Field Party Ops 138.600 143.225 (Taylor repeater)
8 Field Party Ops 138.600 143.225 (Wright repeater)
9 Field Party Ops 138.600 143.225 (Terror repeater)
10 Field Party Ops 138.600 143.225 (Aurora repeater)
11 Field Party Ops 138.600 143.225 (Brooke repeater)
12 Blank

Mac Ops -- Field Operation Communications Center, second floor of Bldg 165 at McMurdo. Air National Guard LC-130 aircraft are identified by the call sign “Skier,” followed by a specific aircraft number.Helicopters are identified by the last three digits on the helicopter tail. The digits are always two numbers and a letter.