Thursday, February 24, 2011

Airmen Safe at Christchurch

The 62nd AW Public Affairs reports that all 18 active duty members from McChord Field, currently deployed in support of Operation Deep Freeze, are safe and unharmed after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the New Zealand capitol of Christchurch Feb. 22.

Based in Christchurch with a C-17 Globemaster III to support Operation Deep Freeze, the Airmen are all accounted for and uninjured. Likewise, the C-17 deployed to support the mission sustained no damage.

Operation Deep Freeze, which runs from mid-October to mid-February, supports the National Science Foundation in Antarctica. Christchurch is a maintenance and re-fueling location for Operation Deep Freeze.

"Our primary concern is that our people and our civilian employees are safe and sound," said Lt. Col. Brent Keenan, 62nd Operations Group deputy commander, and next year's commander of Operation Deep Freeze. "We are helping locally, coordinating with the Joint Task Force, U.S. Embassy, National Science Foundation and the New Zealand Royal Air Force. It will be some time before airfield operations will resume normally scheduled activities."

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