The following blog post is the third in a series highlighting MSC’s role in Operation Deep Freeze (ODF) 2016. The purpose of ODF is to provide logistical support to the U.S. Antarctic Program via Department of Defense assets. MSC has supported ODF since McMurdo Station was established in 1955, providing supplies and fuel to scientists operating from the remote base.
Military Sealift Command chartered ship MT Maersk Perry has arrived at McMurdo Station, Antarctica and is currently offloading nearly 6 million gallons of diesel and jet fuel in support of the 2016 Operation Deep Freeze resupply mission.
Maersk Perry arrived at the McMurdo Station ice-pier Feb. 4, and following a storm, began the offload of its fuel cargo. Assisted by members of McMurdo fuels team, the ship will deliver 4.5 million gallons of diesel fuel, 1 million gallons of gasoline and 500,000 gallons of jet fuel; 100 percent of the fuel needed for the year. Cargo operations for Maersk Perry are scheduled to complete by Feb, 8.
“I’m really impressed with the high level of professionalism down here,” said Thad Reep, MSC tanker operations representative in Antarctica. “From the master of the ship and the ice pilot, to the members of the McMurdo fuels team, everyone is aware and on top of the challenges of working in this kind of environment and making sure everyone is safe and that the operation moves forward smoothly. It’s a real reflection of the quality of people at not only MSC but throughout the military.”
Maersk Perry is the second MSC chartered ship to conduct cargo operations in support of ODF. MV Ocean Giant completed its offload nearly 7 million pounds of supplies such as frozen and dry food stores, building materials, vehicles, and electronic equipment and parts, last week and began its journey back to the United States. It is scheduled to arrive back in Port Hueneme, Calif., in early March.
Operation Deep Freeze is a joint service, on-going Defense Support to Civilian Authorities activity in support of the National Science Foundation (NSF), 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 Department of Defense civilians and attached non-DOD civilians. ODF operates from two primary locations situated at Christchurch, New Zealand and McMurdo Station, Antarctica.