Many people groan about having to change a tire on the side of the . Think about doing it in the middle of ! Life on “ Fueling Research in Antarctica AE and its joint venture partner PAE New (austral) summer, which runs from October PZealand have served as subcontractors through February, more PAE support personnel Enduring harsh conditions unique” to Antarctica, PAE to Lockheed Martin on the National Science are needed during those months. During the Foundation (NSF) austral (March to September), the bases personnel live and work “on the ice,” supporting three Program (USAP) since 2012. Through the USAP operate with fewer people who “winter over” U.S. Antarctic Program stations, two ships and dozens base operations and support contract, PAE during the coldest, darkest months of the . provides the resources required by the U.S. of field camps … all in the name of science. scientific bases. McMurdo Station - Located on in the southwestern corner of the Ross , McMurdo below the horizon for six months. (The only other Unique Personalities Required “We the power , the water treatment plant, Station is Antarctica’s largest station. It serves place on is the geographic , which “The folks we attract for positions in Antarctica the fire department, the transportation hubs … if as a gateway for U.S. scientific field teams and is in the middle of the .) Population are outgoing and adventurous,” said Lee Anne. it helps run the stations, we are the ones behind as a logistics hub for most U.S. scientific support in the austral summer reaches 150 (60 PAE “They tend to be nomadic and are willing to live it,” said PAE Program Manager Lee Anne Hess. activity. “McMurdo is a cross between a college personnel) and drops to approximately 45 (25 to in a remote location with harsh living conditions. “We provide trades personnel like mechanics, campus and a small town back in the United 30 PAE personnel) in the austral winter. During They have to be comfortable in isolation.” equipment operators, firefighters, plumbers States,” said Lee Anne. “Everyone plays a role the six months of darkness, research at the and so on to keep the scientific stations up and in supporting the common goal of U.S. scientific Pole focuses on astrophysics and . Wintering over at the means being cut running. This in turn supports the scientists and research.” Population peaks at 1,000 (including off from the rest of the for six months. Once their research projects.” 460 PAE personnel) in the austral summer and - Located north of the Antarctic the sets for the last time and the austral winter dwindles to 130 to 200 (with 100 to 130 PAE Circle on , Palmer Station is only officially starts, conditions make it too PAE supports all three year-round, NSF-managed personnel) in the austral winter. Research at accessible by research vessel. The population dangerous to travel to and from the South Pole. U.S. scientific stations in Antarctica, as well as two McMurdo is focused on marine biology, , can reach 45 (20 PAE personnel) in the austral Yet with important year-round scientific research research vessels and dozens of seasonal field biology and . summer and drops to 20 (10 PAE personnel) in ongoing, it is imperative that the station remains camps. “Each station is very different in terms the austral winter. “A lot of folks wear multiple hats operational, and adventurous PAE personnel of location, research conducted and the level of Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station - Located at Palmer because of the small number of support make that happen. support we offer,” said Lee Anne. PAE’s support 841 miles inland from McMurdo, this station is at staff,” said Lee Anne. Due to its proximity to the personnel population fluctuates depending on the the geographic South Pole—one of only two places , research at Palmer focuses on The team must also be able to amuse and occupy time of year. Because scientists conduct most of on Earth where the sun is continuously above marine biology and and is the site themselves indoors. During the six-month-long their research during the the horizon for six months and then continuously of one of NSF’s two Antarctic long-term ecological austral winter, temperatures at McMurdo reach as research project sites. 11 Q2 2016 | Inside PAE | Global Logistics & Stability Operations Q2 2016 | Inside PAE | Global Logistics & Stability Operations 12 low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit, month. The team completes Manager Kory Hottel. “All while the average at South Pole this trek approximately three kidding aside, it takes a special is -76 degrees Fahrenheit. ( a year to deliver a year’s mindset and talent to do this coldest temperature on record worth of fuel to the South Pole. type of work, and these people at South Pole is -117 degrees “These men and women are really are amazing. Many people Fahrenheit.) Personnel spend a among the heroes of the USAP,” groan about having to change a lot of time indoors six months out said Antarctic Support Contract tire on the side of the road. Think of the year. “It takes an intrepid Communications Specialist about doing it in the middle of person to work here,” Lee Ann Elaine Hood. “I have flown to Antarctica!” said, “especially if that person is the South Pole, but these people going to winter over at the South drive it. They drive across the The two crews (made up of a It takes an Pole.” , up a and onto supervisor, equipment operators the polar . They know and mechanics) completed intrepid An 841-Mile, Month-Long Antarctica. They have a personal three traverses this past austral person to Traverse knowledge of the summer, delivering a total of Some of the most adventurous unlike anyone else.” 342,750 gallons of fuel. The first work here. PAE personnel working in traverse trip of each also Antarctica are members of the “I make the crew watch a includes a mountaineer to assist Traverse Team. Two small crews minimum of two of drive seven miles per hour MacGyver before they set out on with navigating and establishing Traverse Team means that we The 2015-2016 traverse team across harsh terrain for 10 to their journey to the South Pole,” a path for the following traverse can now divert those airplanes pictured from right to left: Jared 12 hours each day for an entire jokes Traverse Operations trips. “The terrain changes with to other parts of the continent to Fortner, Doug Fortner, Pete each season, so it is important support scientific research.” Wilson, David Coltrain, Ray PAE supports all three year-round NSF-managed U.S. scientific to take time during our first trip to Tangen“, Steve Clemons and stations in Antarctica: McMurdo Station located on Ross Island, identify a safe path,” said Kory. “This is a significant improvement George Matthews (on the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station located on the Polar Plateau and “We use deep penetrating radar for our customer since it saves ground). Palmer Station located on Anvers Island. to discover and fill crevasses them time and money,” said Kory. that might not have been there “We want to continue making McMurdo Station the year before.” improvements and are looking Historical Timeline” at other ways to maximize use of In addition to navigating the Traverse Team.” Currently, 1821 – American sealer uncharted territory, the team has the team returns empty after arguably becomes the first person to to be prepared to fix anything delivering fuel, so they are on the Antarctica continent. that breaks along the way. devising ways to transport “These folks can make just garbage and recyclables from 1956 – The U.S. officially opens its first about any repair in the middle of the South Pole to McMurdo, station at McMurdo. At the same time, the harshest continent on Earth,” from where it is returned to the the U.S. government builds the original said Lee Anne. U.S. for processing. Amundsen-Scott Station. Palmer Station “These traverse trips have An Amazingly Beautiful Awful 1961 – The Antarctic Treaty is formally ratified and in force. changed the way we do Place business,” said Elaine. “We used “Antarctica is an amazingly to have to fly all of the fuel via 1968 – Initial construction of Palmer beautiful and rewarding (yet Station is completed. an LC-130 airplane to the South challenging) place to work,” said Pole, which wasn’t cost-efficient Lee Ann. “One of my favorite and took many missions. Now 2012 – PAE wins a role on the USAP quotes about Antarctica is from contract supporting Lockheed Martin. with our Traverse Team, we Falcon Scott, a British can deliver fuel more cheaply. explorer. He said, ‘Great God! Amundsen-Scott South Equally important, using the This is an awful place.’” 13 Q2 2016 | Inside PAE | Global Logistics & Stability Operations Pole Station Q2 2016 | Inside PAE | Global Logistics & Stability Operations 14