Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
FREE Admission & Parking

Humanitarian Exhibit: Goodwill Missions

Goodwill Missions
The Department of the Air Force regularly embarks upon goodwill missions in order to strengthen communities throughout the world. These missions help to create alliances and provide opportunities to airmen for vital training. Whether it is teaching water purification methods, administering preventative medical care to people in remote areas, or building schools, the DAF delivers one of its finest assets – manpower. Hope knows no borders, and the men and women of the US Air Force are trained, prepared, and ready to help those in need.

Antarctic Expeditions: Operation DEEP FREEZE
Operation Deep Freeze is the codename for the Department of Defense joint, interagency support of scientific research in Antarctica. The US Air Force has provided annual support for the mission since 1955.

Transporting personnel and critical supplies to the most remote and inhospitable location on the planet is no easy task. Airmen and aircraft face many challenges operating in the harsh arctic environment where seasonal temperatures can drop lower than minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Despite these difficulties, the dedicated men and women of the USAF provide regular aerial resupply, medical assistance, and transportation to the scientists of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and US Antarctic Program (USAP). These scientists study Antarctica’s glaciers and geology, climate, weather, and marine life.

The US Air Force is a proud partner to peaceful scientific research and exploration in Antarctica.

Deep Freeze Exhibit Case
Flight crews of Operation Deep Freeze are issued a flight bag ahead of each mission containing the extreme cold weather (ECW) clothing and gear they will need to safely work on the ground in Antarctica. This includes thermal underwear, two layers of pants and jackets, and a parka like the one on display. They also get thick rubber “bunny boots”, rated to minus 40° F, ski goggles, a balaclava, face mask, and two pairs of gloves. The exact combination of clothing and gear they wear depends on the season, but they fly prepared for anything.

The Penguin Express
Between 1957 and 1989, the USAF flew eight animal airlift missions in support of the National Science Foundation’s research and wildlife conservation programs. Many species of birds and mammals native to Antarctica and New Zealand were collected for study and flown to zoos and research facilities across the US.

About 600 Adelie and Emperor Penguins were flown more than 10,000 miles from Antarctica to new homes at zoos in Portland, Oregon and San Diego, California. On some of these missions the Air Force installed special refrigeration units, incubators, and thermal blankets to help keep the animals cool and comfortable during their long flight.

The Air Force’s last animal airlift mission occurred November 1989. This mission, carried out in compliance with the US Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978, brought four Emperor penguin chicks to the US to study penguin food and energy requirements to better understand the Antarctic food chain balance.

Operation Pacific Haven was a joint humanitarian mission conducted by the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services. In September 1996, USAF aircraft began airlifting more than 6,500 Kurdish refugees from northern Iraq to Andersen AFB, Guam as they prepared for immigration and resettlement in the United States. Many of the refugees were American allies who assisted the US following the 1991 Gulf War.

Once on Guam, the refugees moved to comfortable temporary housing on the base. Donations and support from the local Air Force community supplied the refugees with essential clothing and household goods. A USAF medical team from Japan provided the refugees with emergency care, examinations, and vaccinations as they awaited asylum in the US. The US Air Force played a critical role helping these vulnerable refugees begin new lives in the US.

While visiting the exhibit don't miss the video with a special interview with Public Health Officer Maj Pauline Lucas.


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