Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
February 20, 2020
Military Sealift Command Completes Cargo Operations in Antarctic
By Sarah Burford, Military Sealift Command Pacific
Military Sealift Command has completed its resupply mission in Antarctica with the departure of the MSC chartered ship SLNC Magothy. The mission was in support of Operation Deep Freeze, the Joint Task Force Support for Antarctica mission to the NSF-managed U.S. Antarctic Program.
Magothy delivered nearly five thousand metric tons of construction materials and equipment that will be used to expand the facilities at McMurdo Station. The cargo was offloaded by Seabees from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE (NCHB -1) homeported in Williamsburg, Va.
Magothy along with two other MSC chartered ships MV Ocean Giant, and MT Maersk Peary, conducted cargo offloads at the Marine Causeway System (MCS) that was put in place to replace the traditional ice-pier that has been used in years past. The MCS was delivered by the first MSC ship to arrive in Antarctica, Ocean Giant. Upon completion of their cargo delivery, Magothy retrieved the dismantled sections of the MCS, and loaded it onto the ship, where it will be return it to Port Hueneme, Calif., where their mission began in early January.
According to Capt. Eric Swanson, Magothy’s civilian master, operation such as Operation Deep Freeze and the challenges of working in a remote area create a unique learning experience for his crew. Here, they hone skills that can be used in operations while supporting future MSC missions.
“Due to the lack of resources available, and because of the remote location and weather challenges, the ODF mission really challenges us as a team,” said Swanson. “I’m sure my team has learned a lot, and will take these lessons learned with them on future missions where they won’t be challenged by these extreme weather conditions, or the challenges this environment brings.”
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.