The US Military Sealift Command chartered heavy lift ship MV Ocean Giant returned from a trip to the Arctic where it resupplied the Thule Air Base as part of the annual operation Pacer Goose.
The ship returned to Naval Station Norfolk August 18 where it is spending multiple days off-loading outdated equipment and waste material transported from the remote U.S. Air Force base in the northern coast of Greenland.
“Ocean Giant’s mission support of Pacer Goose 2017 was very successful,” said Rick Caldwell, a Military Sealift Command supervisory marine transportation specialist. “Pacer Goose is a critical mission as Thule Air Base would not be able to operate without the fuel and supplies which were delivered.”
Ocean Giant is crewed by 19 civilian merchant mariners who perform all the operations aboard the vessel including navigation, engineering, medical care and line handling.
During the ship’s northern track to Thule, Ocean Giant rendezvoused with the oil tanker MT Maersk Peary, which was loaded with fuel for Thule. The two ships followed the Canadian Coast Guard’s Pierre-Radisson class icebreaker CCGS Henry Larson through the ice and into the air base’s harbor.
“Merchant marines have a proud history of service to the United States,” said Arey. “During WWII civilian mariners did their part in support of the war effort and we are very proud to be supporting the military by delivering supplies to Thule.”
Pacer Goose, the annual operation to resupply Thule, began in 1952 using U.S. Navy combatant ships to transport goods equipment and materials to the remote military base.