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    Military Sealift Command Chartered Ships Conduct Cargo Loadouts in Preparation For Operation Deep Freeze 2023

    Military Sealift Command Chartered Ships Conduct Cargo Loadouts in Preparation For Operation Deep Freeze 2023

    Photo By Sarah Cannon | Materials are staged to be loaded onto the Military Sealift Command chartered ship MV...... read more read more



    Story by Sarah Cannon 

    Military Sealift Command Pacific

    While most of the United States shivers under frigid winter conditions, members of the Military Sealift Command Pacific (MSCPAC) team have been enjoying warm, sunny Southern California temperatures while overseeing cargo operations in Port Hueneme, Calif., of the loadout of supplies and equipment being loaded onto the Military Sealift Command charter ships MV Ocean Giant and MV Ocean Gladiator, in preparation for delivery to the remote Antarctica outpost of McMurdo Station, in support of the annual resupply mission; Operation Deep Freeze 2023.

    Unlike last year, where a cargo ship and a fuel ship made the trip to Antarctica, the ODF 2023 mission will feature two cargo ships, that will deliver most of the supplies needed the year’s survival at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

    The week before Christmas, Ocean Giant conducted a loadout in Port Hueneme. During the operation, the ship received 443 pieces of cargo, which included include containers filled with mechanical parts, vehicles, construction materials, office supplies and electronics equipment and vehicles. In addition, the ship was loaded with a floating causeway that will be assembled in Antarctica and used for cargo offload operations instead of the traditional McMurdo Station ice-pier, which was deemed unusable for this year’s mission.

    Following Ocean Giant this week, Ocean Gladiator is conducting a cargo loadout. This ship is receiving 361 pieces of cargo, mostly construction materials to be used for an expansion project at the McMurdo facility. Upon completion of their delivery in Antarctica, the ship will return to Port Hueneme with ice core samples as well as other scientific information for further study in the United States.

    Both ships will make the journey from California to Antarctica, stopping in Christ Church, New Zealand to receive additional cargo, travelling approximately 8,040 nautical miles over nearly a month.

    Loading cargo into both ships requires advanced planning. Weight differences in cargo, as well as the types of cargo loaded and the storage issues they have, require a specific load order, which is followed to the letter to ensure an on time departure. Because of this, the MSCPAC team have worked with members of the MSCPAC Operations team as well as the ships’ crews, port workers, stevedores and members of the National Science Foundation.

    “Everyone we are working with has been extremely professional and easy to work with, especially the stevedores,” said Lt. Cdr. Raymond Lilly, MSCPAC representative in Port Hueneme. “They really understand how to move cargo to and from the pier to the ship, and how to get it loaded quickly and safely. They are true professionals.”

    While most people would think working, away from home at the holidays, would be a hardship, members of the MSCPAC team welcomed the opportunity and are enthusiastic about being the part of the ODF mission.

    “ODF is a very unique mission and people get excited about it because it is tangible,” explained Lilly. “Being a part of a mission with the National Science Foundation and Antarctica is exciting, and I am happy to be a part of it.”

    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. An MSC-chartered cargo ship and tanker have made the challenging voyage to Antarctica every year since the station and its resupply missions were established in 1955.


    Date Taken: 12.29.2022
    Date Posted: 12.29.2022 14:41
    Story ID: 436069
    Location: US

    Web Views: 661
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