On May 9th, the icebreaker ARA “Almirante Irízar”, commanded by Captain Carlos Claudio Musso Soler, arrived at the Buenos Aires Naval Station, after completing the activities planned for the 2021/22 Summer Antarctic Campaign. The Argentine Navy unit was received by the Antarctic Joint Commander, Brigadier General Edgar Calandín, and naval authorities.
The 118th Antarctic Campaign was carried out with surface, air and Marine naval resources, under the operational control of the Joint Antarctic Command, dependent on the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces. The objective of the Antarctic Campaign was to relieve personnel and resupply the Argentine Antarctic bases, in addition to providing logistical support to the scientific activities carried out by the country on the white continent.
In addition to the Navy Music Band, relatives of the ship’s crew were also present, who came to receive the sailors and welcome them, after spending 5 months operating out of their station.
The icebreaker ARA “Almirante Irízar” brought with it emotion and joy to the families that were reunited, such as that of Corporal Segundo Apoyo General Matías López, who proudly and happily recounts that he had to meet his newborn son when he lowered the gangplank of the ship . “Every day I dreamed that I was with him, during these 4 months, the truth is that meeting him has no words for me, I feel very proud.”
Along with his family was also Petty Officer Second Furriel Alejandro Gabriel Cardozo, a man from Salta who managed to fulfill his dream of visiting the white continent, who said: “It was a beautiful and unique experience to visit Antarctica, circulate around all the bases, from the Belgrano Base to Orcadas, and the truth was a beautiful experience, I fulfilled one of my goals within the Navy and I thank my family for all their support”.
The icebreaker left Buenos Aires in mid-January and during these months in Antarctica, and with the support of the Sea King helicopters belonging to the Second Naval Helicopter Squadron of the Argentine Navy, logistical tasks of refueling, oils, , food, construction material and general cargo; in addition to the replacement of military and scientific personnel in the Antarctic bases.
As part of the programmed activities, support was also given to the scientific activity carried out by our country in Antarctica, with personnel from the National Antarctic Directorate and the National Meteorological Service.
It should be noted that, in its defeat to Buenos Aires, the crew of the icebreaker together with the Minister of Defense and the Chiefs of the Armed Forces paid honors to the fallen and War Veterans in the geographical coordinates where the cruiser ARA “General Belgrano” was attacked and sunk on the afternoon of May 2, 1982.