Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
For more information, contact:
Laura M. Seal 202-685-5055
February 9, 2010
MSC reservist, descendant of family of Antarctic explorer
Sir Ernest Shackleton visits South Pole
|Click on the image for a high-resolution photo.|
|Cmdr. Scott Shackleton arrives at the South Pole for a brief visit Feb. 9. Shackleton - a distant relative of the famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton - is a Navy reservist assigned to MSC who just wrapped up about two weeks at Antarctic research post McMurdo Station where he was one of two MSC cargo officers overseeing the offload of two MSC ships that delivered fuel and supplies to the station. --U.S. Navy photo|
A Military Sealift Command reservist and descendant of the family of famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton reached the South Pole last night - a milestone that his distant relative did not achieve despite three heroic attempts.
U.S. Navy Cmdr. Scott Shackleton traveled briefly to the South Pole Feb. 9-10, McMurdo Station, Antarctica, time. McMurdo Station is 18 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Scott is currently at the Antarctic scientific research post McMurdo Station playing a vital role in the U.S. Department of Defense's annual delivery of the fuel, equipment and supplies that sustain the scientists and support personnel conducting vital research across the continent.
A Navy Reservist assigned to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, Scott is one of two highly experienced cargo officers who spent time at McMurdo Station over the past month overseeing the offload of two MSC ships - tanker USNS Paul Buck and the MSC-chartered dry cargo ship MV American Tern.
American Tern arrived Feb. 1 and offloaded 734,907 cubic feet of cargo - including frozen and dry food stores, building supplies, vehicles, and electronic equipment and parts. Paul Buck was at the ice pier unloading diesel, gas and jet fuel from Jan. 22-27.
This delivery of supplies by ship to McMurdo Station's ice pier is part of Operation Deep Freeze, which is directed by a U.S. Air Force-led joint task force and has both a sea and an air component. Each Antarctic summer since McMurdo Station was established in 1955, an MSC tanker and dry cargo ship have traversed the icy waters with aid of an ice breaker to deliver 100 percent of the fuel and about 70 percent of the dry cargo needed to sustain personnel on the continent for an entire calendar year.
|Click on the image for a high-resolution photo.|
|Cmdr. Scott Shackleton at the geographic South Pole during a brief visit to the remote location Feb. 9. Shackleton - a distant relative of the famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton - is a Navy reservist assigned to MSC who just wrapped up about two weeks at Antarctic research post McMurdo Station where he was one of two MSC cargo officers overseeing the offload of two MSC ships that delivered fuel and supplies to the station. --U.S. Navy photo|
Following MSC's delivery by sea, the Air Force has then distributed that cargo by air from McMurdo Station to other remote research locations across the continent. MSC's dry cargo ships have also transported cargo - ranging from precious ice core samples for research to trash and recyclable materials for disposal - off of the continent.
Scott's specific role at McMurdo is to serve as a liaison between American Tern's crew of U.S. merchant mariners, the Navy sailors offloading the equipment and the scientific personnel receiving the equipment. Scott also tracks safety issues, troubleshoots any weather-related or other changes to the ship's schedule and handles specialty cargo requirements.
During the mission, Scott also visited a hut that Sir Ernest twice called home - first as part of explorer Robert Scott's 1902-1903 Discovery expedition and again during Sir Ernest's own 1907-1909 Nimrod Expedition. Sir Ernest is most remembered for his famous Endurance Expedition of 1914-1916. During that unsuccessful attempt to the South Pole, he and his crew of 27 were stranded on the ice for nearly 15 months. Remarkably, all of the Endurance crew survived. Sir Ernest died of a heart attack in 1922 during his third lead expedition to Antarctica.
"I've always felt a kinship with Sir Ernest," said Scott. "It's been an honor for me to have this tie to him and the name Shackleton."
Like Sir Ernest, Scott took to the sea at a young age. Scott began sailing on commercial ships at the age of 18. He then enrolled in the California Maritime Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering in 1987 - the same year that he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve. Scott sailed for commercial industry until he moved to the University of California Berkeley, where he is now the assistant dean for capital projects and facilities in the College of Engineering. Scott has served as an MSC Navy Reservist for 16 years, and will depart McMurdo Station for home Feb. 10.
Military Sealift Command operates approximately 110 noncombatant, merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
Cmdr. Shackleton will be available for telephone interviews Feb. 9 from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. EST. Contact Laura Seal at 202-494-6524 for more information.
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