OPERATION Southern Discovery continued to keep Hobart’s Number 29 Squadron (29SQN) personnel busy in late 2018 with air logistic support to Antarctica.
The Australian Defence Force provides support to the Australian Antarctic Division during the Austral Summer Period as part of Defence’s contribution to the Australian Antarctic program.
Between 29 October and 10 November 2018, 29SQN personnel provided logistical and administrative support to Number 36 Squadron’s (36SQN) C-17A aircraft, to transport over 100,000 lbs of cargo and move more than 30 passengers between Hobart and Antarctica.
Three missions were conducted which included one airdrop and two landings at Wilkins runway in Antarctica.
Aircrew and ground support personnel on OPERATION Southern Discovery worked long and varied hours as they responded to changing weather conditions and plans for transporting diverse cargo.
LAC John McLeod was one of five members from 29SQN who provided ground support and crew transport for 36SQN personnel during their stay in Hobart.
“Some challenging cargo was moved back from Antarctica, including a large shipping container placed on three married aircraft pallets,” he said
“With every mission there is something different.”
A further two C-17A missions are scheduled for February 2019 to transport helicopters and other equipment from Antarctica to Hobart before the Austral Summer Period comes to an end in March 2019.