'We couldn't do it without the Kiwis' - NZDF drive unique fleet of trucks to fetch annual supplies in Antarctica

Source: 1News

The New Zealand Defence Force has jumped into action in Antarctica after an icebreaker cleared a 35-kilometre channel to the ice pier, enabling them to fetch annual supplies for McMurdo Station and Scott Base. 

Forty-five NZDF personnel will drive a unique fleet of trucks that arrived on the ice back in the 1980s.

The trucks all have names, from Brandi to Janet-Anne, as well as the hard to miss Shagnasty's Nightmare.

NZDF use the trucks to assemble cargo ready to be shipped out, and once the cargo ship arrives in port they will spend four days unloading it right around the clock.

The cargo consists of annual supplies for both McMurdo Station and Scott Base, while a fuel tanker will also arrive with enough fuel to last both bases an entire year.

And while the trucks have history, they are rigorously maintained. 

Volunteer truck drivers have been used in the past, but it was "hit and miss" according to Marine Terminal Supervisor Michael Davis.

"Now bringing down New Zealand military truck drivers, they're experts this is what they do," he told 1 NEWS.

NZDF Lieutenant Commander Ross Hickey said he is "hugely proud".

"The NZDF has been down here right from day one when our navy brought Hillary and his team down on HMNZS Endeavour and they established Scott Base," he said.

Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of Scott Base, and the Antarctic Heritage Trust have fully restored Hillary's Hut to mark the occasion.