Port Hueneme’s team supports annual Antarctic resupply mission

By DLA Distribtuion Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Diego, California’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.

“Our Port Hueneme team completed support requirements for the National Science Foundation’s annual vessel load out,” said Capt. Jerome R. White, commander, DLA Distribution San Diego, California. “This year there were two vessels due to an increase in material support for infrastructure projects in the operating area. As NSF’s material continues to flow, the team will provide packaging support to move material via airlift.”

Operation Deep Freeze is part of the Department of Defense’s commitment to deliver supplies to scientists participating as members of the NSF’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, 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 pick, pack and shipment 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.

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