Ships en route to Antarctica on resupply mission’s 60th anniversary

The following blog is the first in a series highlighting Military Sealift Command’s role in Operation Deep Freeze (ODF) 2015. The resupply mission provides logistical support to the U.S. Antarctic Program via DOD assets. An MSC-chartered cargo ship and tanker have participated in ODF since McMurdo Station’s establishment 60 years ago in 1955, providing supplies and fuel to scientists operating from the remote base.

Ocean Giant delivers cargo to McMurdo for Operation Deep Freeze 2013.

Ocean Giant delivers cargo to McMurdo for Operation Deep Freeze 2013.

Military Sealift Command chartered cargo ship MV Ocean Giant arrived today at the McMurdo Station, Antarctica, ice pier for the start of the 2015 Operation Deep Freeze mission, and will begin off-loading its pallets and containerized cargo. Chartered tanker MT Maersk Peary (T-AOT 5246) is currently making its way to McMurdo.

Members of Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One, already on station, will work around-the-clock to off-load the nearly 7 million pounds of supplies such as frozen and dry food stores, building materials, vehicles, and electronic equipment and parts – 80 percent of the materials needed by the personnel at McMurdo Station.

Following its off load, Ocean Giant will take on ice core samples that will be stored on the ship in sub-zero freezer containers and delivered to the United States for scientific study. In addition, retrograde cargo will be loaded onto the ship for transportation off the continent, including trash and recyclable materials for disposal, and equipment no longer required on the station.

Ocean Giant’s journey began in in Port Hueneme, California, Dec. 30, where its cargo was loaded. The ship stopped briefly in New Zealand before making the transit to McMurdo Sound, and is expected to return to Port Hueneme in early March.

Maersk Peary is slated to arrive at McMurdo Feb. 1, and will deliver 4.5 million gallons of diesel fuel and 500,000 gallons of jet fuel – 100 percent of the fuel needed for the year.  Cargo operations for Maersk Peary are scheduled for completion by Feb. 6.

Operation Deep Freeze is a joint service, on-going Defense Support to Civilian Authorities activity in support of the National Science Foundation, lead agency for the United States Antarctic Program. Mission support consists of active duty, Guard and Reserve personnel from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard as well as DOD civilians and attached non-DOD civilians. ODF operates from two primary locations situated at Christchurch, New Zealand, and McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, a heavy icebreaker home-ported in Seattle, transits McMurdo Sound near Ross Island, Antarctica, in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2015, Jan. 9, 2015. Deep Freeze, a multi-agency operation, is the military component of the U.S. Antarctic program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener)

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, a heavy icebreaker home-ported in Seattle, transits McMurdo Sound near Ross Island, Antarctica, in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2015, Jan. 9, 2015. Deep Freeze, a multi-agency operation, is the military component of the U.S. Antarctic program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener)

 

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