02.11.2019 – Story by Sarah Burford
Military Sealift Command-chartered container ship MV Ocean Giant has successfully completed cargo operations at the ice-pier at the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station, Antarctica. The operation was part of MSC’s annual resupply mission in support of Operation Deep Freeze, the Joint Task Force Support for Antarctica mission to the NSF-managed U.S. Antarctic Program.
Ocean Giant, whose mission began in late December, with a loadout of dry cargo in Port Hueneme, Calif., where the cargo was loaded before delivery to Antarctica. The ship arrived at the NSF ice-pier on Feb. 3, with cargo offload conducted by Seabees from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE beginning the following day. Over a 14-day period, 498 containers and various breakbulk equaling nearly 7 million pounds of supplies such as frozen and dry food stores, building materials, vehicles, and electronic equipment and parts, were removed from the ship. Following the offload, 450 containers of retrograde—including station waste and recyclables, as well as ice-core samples for scientific study, were loaded onto the ship and will be returned to Port Hueneme for processing.
Before departing Antarctica Capt. Timothy Arey, master of Military Sealift Command chartered ship MV Ocean Giant and his crew of 19 contracted civilian mariners were awarded the Antarctica Service Medal for their partication in ODF 2019.
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. MSC has supported ODF since McMurdo Station was established in 1955, providing supplies and fuel to scientists operating from the remote base.