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News | Jan. 29, 2019

DLA Distribution San Diego supports Operation Deep Freeze

By William Kelker, Acting Site Director, DLA Distribution San Diego, Calif. at Port Hueneme

DLA Distribution San Diego’s satellite site at Port Hueneme, California, completed its annual packing, packaging, preservation and marking mission in support of the National Science Foundation’s “Operation Deep Freeze.”


Operation Deep Freeze is part of the Department of Defense’s commitment to deliver supplies to scientists participating as members of the National Science Foundation’s mission to conduct critical scientific research on and around the continent of Antarctica, as well as other locations south of the equator, to include Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, Palmer Station and the South Pole, and Christchurch, New Zealand.


The NSF utilizes the Military Sealift Command’s chartered-container vessel, Ocean Giant, which docks at Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme’s wharf, for loading and off-loading processes. The vessel’s resupply effort occurs in January and continues through the summer.


The site’s PPP&M Section, led by packing supervisor Michael Snead, provides routine support to NSF’s mission throughout the year with packaging incoming open purchase supplies, military equipment, and scientific research materials.


His team also builds customized pallets, crates and fabricate fiberboard boxes to NSF specification that must meet stringent regulatory transportation guidelines for processing and shipment of cargo by vessel, military or commercial air to Antarctica and the South Pole.


As part of the process, the Hazardous Material Section within the operation at Port Hueneme ensures hazardous material certificates accompany all packaged products prepared for shipment by commercial/military air and vessel.


According to Snead, during this year's mission, his team at Port Hueneme packaged more than 400 containers in support of the NSF mission.


“These containers, along with wooden braces and footers, are manufactured to stabilize material to prevent damage during transport.  The containers consist mostly of building and packaging supplies, frozen and dry food, clothing, and specialized material used by scientist to conduct their research while on assignment at various NSF locations,” said Snead.


When the Ocean Giant returns to Port Hueneme in late February, the vessel will contain a year's worth of scientific data and ice core samples that will assist the NSF's continued study of the Antarctic.