This is the 33rd entry in the Armed with Science series, Dispatches from Antarctica. The series features Air Force Lt. Col. Ed Vaughan’s first-hand experiences on OPERATION: DEEP FREEZE, the Defense Department’s support of National Science Foundation research in Antarctica.
9 November 2010, McMurdo Station, Antarctica: Joint Airdrop Inspection
Chief Master Sergeant Brian Pritt deployed to McMurdo Station from the 130th Airlift Wing, Charleston, “Charlie West”, West Virginia. Master Sergeant Dwayne Miller deployed from the 175th Wing, Martin State Airport, Baltimore, Maryland. Both are combat veterans and long time Citizen-Airmen with the Air National Guard. As part of the Joint Task Force supporting NSF science in Antarctica, they typify the unique ability of the Air National Guard to work effectively with inter-agency and international partners.
Their task in Antarctica is to provide Joint Inspection and Joint Airdrop Inspection for the 24/7 USAP cargo operation here. I spend some time with Master Sergeant Miller discussing what that means and how his work ensures that air cargo loads to be flown in or air dropped are safe and secure. The accompanying video highlights our discussion.
Aside from working long hours in the cargo yard and on the flight line, these gentlemen inspired one of the U.S. Antarctic Program civilian participants, Jenny, to support our troops deployed in harm’s way. Jenny organized a McMurdo-wide party to put together care packages for Chief Pritt’s colleagues from back home in Charlie West. These Air National Guard men and women are currently deployed to a hostile area through the holidays.