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Ocean Giant arrived safely at the ice-pier at McMurdo Station, following a voyage that began at the new year from Port Hueneme, Calif., where the ship was loaded with cargo. The ship also stopped in Christchurch, New Zealand, where it took on additional cargo, before departing on the final leg of its trip to Antarctica.
Ocean Giant carries nearly 7 million pounds of cargo. The cargo consists of 503 pieces of cargo that include containers filled with mechanical parts, vehicles, construction materials, office supplies and electronics equipment, and also a modular building; 80 percent of the supplies needed the year’s survival at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. The cargo will be offloaded by the ship’s crew and Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE already on the ice.
Before departing McMurdo station, Ocean Giant will be loaded with ice core samples that will be stored on the ship in sub-zero freezer containers. The ice core samples will be delivered to the United States for scientific study. In addition, retrograde cargo will be loaded onto the ship for transportation off the continent. These include trash and recyclable materials for disposal and equipment no longer required on the station.
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. 2022 marks MSC’s return to support of ODF which was paused in 2021 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. An MSC-chartered cargo ship and tanker have made the challenging voyage to Antarctica every year since the station and its resupply mission were established in 1955.
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