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II. Expedition Dates

Section II of the 2004-2005 season plan includes information concerning vessel and aircraft operations along with estimated dates of expeditions and other significant events.

Winfly Activities

Annual augmentation of the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) begins with austral winter flights (WINFLY), departing Christchurch, New Zealand, and arriving McMurdo Station, Antarctica, about 20 August 2004. The aircraft will carry scientists and support personnel to start early pre-summer projects, to augment maintenance personnel, and to prepare skiways and ice runways at McMurdo Station. This will involve 4 U.S. Air Force C-17 flights and will increase station population from the winter-over level of about 154 to a transition level of about 580 (285 personnel expected to deploy at WINFLY).

Mainbody Activities

summer activities will be initiated on 05 October 2004 with wheeled aircraft operations between Christchurch, New Zealand and the sea-ice runways at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. This will involve approximately 19 C-141 flights, and 20 C-17 flights of transport aircraft of the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC), and 15 flights by C-130 transport aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The sea-ice runway operations will cease about mid December 2004. Williams Field will open for the ski-equipped LC-130 aircrafts and at the same time approximately 2 days pass the Ice Runway closure, Pegasus Blue Ice Runway will be open for wheeled aircraft from Christchurch to McMurdo. From approximately early January to the end of the season 10 USAF C-141 flights and 10 USAF C-17 flights will finish out the airlift movement. The 109th ANG Airlift Wing will fly north from McMurdo to Christchurch on Saturdays and south from Christchurch to McMurdo on Sundays from 30 October through 6 February.

The 109th Air Wing of the Air National Guard in Schenectady, New York will provide six LC-130 aircraft and six crews for intra-continental flights from late October 2004 through mid-February 2005 when McMurdo Station closes.

Significant Dates

Other significant dates for the summer season include:

  1. 29 September 2002 - Palmer Station – Summer Operations Commence
  2. 01 October 2002 - McMurdo Station-Summer Operations Commence
  3. 07 October 2001 - Marble Point opens
  4. 15 October 2002 - Pieter J. Lenie Field Station ("Copacabana") opens
  5. 23 October 2002 - South Pole Station – Summer Operations Commence
  6. 23 October 2002 - Siple Dome Camp opens
  7. 1 November 2002 - Odell Glacier Camp opens
  8. 03 November 2002 - Byrd Surface Camp opens
  9. 7 November 2002 - Cape Shirreff Field Station opens
  10. 23 November 2002 - Onset D Camp opens
  11. 9 December 2002 - Tamesis Camp opens

Ship Movements

Resupply Vessel

The resupply vessel (TBD), is scheduled to complete one trip to McMurdo this season. The ship will depart Port Hueneme, California, in late December 2002 after onloading cargo and transit directly to Port Lyttelton, New Zealand. The Resupply Vessel will again onload additional cargo and depart New Zealand for McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Cargo will be off-loaded between 01-08 February, after which the ship will depart McMurdo and proceed to Lyttelton, New Zealand to offload cargo destined for the States. It will depart on approximately 16 February for Port Hueneme, CA to off-load waste and recyclable materials from McMurdo Station, approximately 07 March 2003 arrival at Port Hueneme, CA.

R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer

The R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer will conduct cruises in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica, for scientific research in the following disciplines: Physical and Chemical Oceanography, Marine Geology and Geophysics, and Marine Biology. The vessel will perform approximately 9 cruises during the 2002-2003 season.

The R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer is currently scheduled for work in the Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas, Bransfield Strait, and Marguerite Bay areas, and to enter a dry dock period May 25 through July 25 in Talcahuano, Chile. During this period the Simrad Seatrial and the RVIB Acceptance test will take place. Ports of call include: Punta Arenas and Talcahuano, Chile; Lyttelton, New Zealand; and McMurdo Base; and San Diego, CA. The vessel is tentatively scheduled to transport hazardous waste from Palmer Station back to the United States in September 2002.

R/V Laurence M. Gould

The R/V Laurence M. Gould will support research during 2002-2003 season that includes biological, chemical, and physical oceanography as well as marine geology and geophysics. The vessel will perform approximately 10 cruises in the Antarctic Peninsula area during the 2002-2003 season.

The R/V Laurence M. Gould will transport support personnel to and from Palmer Station, provide research support in and around the Bransfield Strait/Marguerite Bay areas, and enter a routine maintenance period and Dry Dock May 25 through July 1 in Talcahuano, Chile.