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​A C-17 Globemaster III from JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., used to fly missions to Antarctica in preparation for Operation Deep Freeze, taxis to a parking spot at Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, Aug. 21, 2015. Air Force photo by SrA. Madelyn McCullough.

​C-17s from JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., and ski-equipped Air National Guard LC-130s from Stratton ANGB, N.Y., are staging at Christchurch, New Zealand, to kick-off Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica. C-17s have been conducting night-vision enabled winter resupply flights to McMurdo Station since August, but growing daylight heralds the beginning of the Antarctic summer—and the National Science Foundation's research season, officials announced. Pacific Air Forces headquarters at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, is coordinating USAF support to the annual Joint Task Force-Support Forces Antarctica. The approximately five-month summer research season begins Sept. 28 and will last through January or early February 2016.