News | Feb. 22, 2016

Annual Operation Deep Freeze delivers fuel to Antarctica

By Tanekwa Bournes DLA Energy Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Energy continued its annual support of Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica with this year’s delivery of fuel.

The organization’s part of the mission began May 29 when it was contacted to fulfill fuel requirements and concluded with the delivery of almost 5 million gallons of fuels to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Feb. 3.

“Each year, DLA Energy and the Military Sealift Command execute the Operation Deep Freeze resupply mission in support of the National Science Foundation,” said Trina Wadley, contracting officer with Bulk Petroleum Products’ Overseas Europe and Africa team.

During the latest refueling mission, the Maersk Peary oil tanker was loaded with 3.5 million gallons of AN8 jet fuel, 1.2 million gallons of JP5 aviation turbine fuel and 120,000 gallons of motor gasoline Dec. 18.

“Our mission, supporting science around the continent takes us to some of the coldest places on earth. The AN8 is specially formulated to have a freezing point of -58 degrees Celsius or lower so it can be used by aircraft and generations in these remote and extreme locations,” said Margaret Knuth, Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics operations manager with the NSF. “We need JP5 to resupply the USCG Icebreaker Polar Star. The Polar Star breaks a channel to the station that allows for the cargo and fuel resupply to happen.”

“DLA Energy feels honored to play such an intricate role in such a vital mission,” Wadley said.

Operation Deep Freeze began in the late 1950s as a free-standing U.S. military mission in the Antarctic.  The name now refers to the U.S. military’s logistical support component of the NSF-managed U.S. Antarctic Program.