March 13, 2019 – Military Sealift Command-chartered container ship MV Ocean Giant has successfully completed Operation Deep Freeze (ODF) cargo offload operations in Port Hueneme, Calif. The operation was part of MSC’s annual resupply mission in support of the Joint Task Force Support for Antarctica mission to the NSF-managed U.S. Antarctic Program.
A team from MSC, including Navy Reservists from MSC’s Expeditionary Port Unit (EPU) 114, coordinated all aspects of the offload of 450 containers of retrograde—including station waste and recyclables, as well as ice-core samples for scientific study.
The offload is the final step in Ocean Giant’s support of ODF. Their 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. For their efforts, the 19 member contracted civilian mariner crew were awarded the Antarctica Service Medal.
“This has been a very successful mission for MSC,” said Cmdr. January Crivello, Military Sealift Command Pacific operations officer. “Our success is largely due to the professionalism of our mariners, our reservists and all of our staff on the ground. I am very proud of everyone’s efforts and of our support of this very important mission.”
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.