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Tanker USNS Paul Buck at the Ice Pier

The USNS (United States Naval Ship) Paul Buck arrived at the ice pier in the late morning of Fri., Jan. 22, 2010. It was guided to the pier by the icebreaker Oden.

Oden clearing the way.

Oden clearing the way.

Oden backing out of the way.

Oden backing out of the way.

USNS Paul Buck

USNS Paul Buck. (No smoking is good advice near a vessel carrying over 5 million gallons of petroleum products.)

USNS Paul Buck at the ice pier.

USNS Paul Buck at the ice pier. Note the 6" diameter fuel hoses.

Once at the ice pier, the fuel offload can begin. The tanker is carrying 4.6 million gallons of AN-8 (diesel), 350,000 gallons of JP-5 (aviation fuel), and 115,000 gallons of mogas (motor gasoline) for transfer to McMurdo Station’s various fuel tanks. When all three types of fuel are flowing, the peak flow will be approximately 3200 gallons per minute. The fuel transfer takes about 38 hours and will flow through around 1.4 miles of hose and pipe.

Six-inch fuel hoses on bridge to ice pier.

Six-inch fuel hoses on bridge to ice pier.

Fuel hoses meeting the piping.

Fuel hoses meeting the piping.

Fuel tanks.

Fuel tanks near the road to Scott Base.

Fuel tanks as seen from atop Observation Hill.

Fuel tanks as seen from Observation Hill.

The piping runs from the ice pier across town to the tanks which are located on the road to Scott Base. The piping then continues another 2.5 miles along the road to Scott Base where it feeds the fuel hose that runs all the way to the Pegasus airfield.

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