Cool lift for million-year-old ice cores


A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster safely transported the first ice cores of the Australian Antarctic Division’s (AAD) Million Year Ice Core project back to Tasmania in March.

With RAAF providing a cool lift capability, the ice cores were able to be transported in special powered cold boxes from Casey Station back to AAD Headquarters in Hobart.

AAD Chief of Operations Matt Filipowski highlighted the importance of transporting the ice cores and the strong relationship between the AAD and ADF.

“The AAD can leverage off the niche capabilities Defence has,” Mr Filipowski said.

“The support from the ADF is significant and certainly appreciated by the AAD. It’s been an ongoing partnership since the establishment of Operation Southern Discovery in 2017.

“The ADF also undertook an air drop of approximately 12 tonnes of cargo to a remote field location between Casey and Davis stations, allowing us to prepare for a scientific effort next season.”

Members of 36 Squadron were proud to be involved in such an important project both scientifically and personally.

For C-17A Globemaster III pilots Flight Lieutenants Conor O’Neill and Alice McCabe, delivering cargo on the last ADF flight of the season was highly rewarding.

“It felt great to deliver the last package of food for the season,” Flight Lieutenant Conor O’Neill said.

“The AAD team were so thankful for the long-range delivery,” Flight Lieutenant Alice McCabe added.

29 Squadron ground crewman Corporal Jason Williams was also pleased to contribute to the unique operation.

“We provide logistic support and ground safety. That helps AAD do their job and facilitates 36 Squadron do their tasks,” Corporal Williams said.

Operation Southern Discovery occurs annually and primarily between November and March.

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