The Chilean Navy opens the bases for the Antarctic campaign

On November 26, the activation of the Port Captain Baha Paraso, the naval division closest to the South Pole, about 1,500 nautical miles from it, was carried out in the deployment of the Antarctic Campaign (COMANTAR) 2020-2021 units.The staff have the strict protocols to reduce the potential vectors of Covid-19 complied with, including an operational quarantine process that remained in isolation for 14 days and additional quarantine at the start and end of PCR testing.

The 9-person crew was taken by the Chilean Air Force flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas and then to Baha Fildes to continue on the AP-41 Aquiles transport to Baha Paraso, approximately 200 nautical miles south. with the support of the entire crew and the course of the Midshipmen and Sailors of the Instruction Cruise for the task of unloading the necessary logistic material to stay during the current summer period.

This department, which is dependent on the Chilean Naval Government of Antarctica, has been in operation since December 3, 1995 and is normally activated from mid-November to March of the following year. It is located in the premises of President Gabriel Gonzlez Videla’s Antarctic Base.

On the day of November 26th, the ceremony of raising the flag and command signal of the captain of Port Baha Paraso took place, which was initiated by DS (M.) N 020 of February 14th, 1996 and whose main functions are to protect the human life at sea and protection of the aquatic environment as well as representation of Chile in the Antarctic.

The meteorological conditions in the region, calm and clear wind, made it possible to carry out support activities at the same time, as carried out by naval air units, in particular by the naval helicopters N-44 and N-46, in which 126 drums were dismantled by VERTREP maneuvers went. Fuel for maintaining the electrical system, delivering 25 cubic meters by rubber boats propelled by people from the Marines, and handing over food and building materials through the Ska ship.

It should be emphasized the significant support of the Sailors Course, specialists in the fields of mechanics, electricity, telecommunications and electronics, who worked professionally, coherently and selflessly as a team with the staff of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Transportation Technology AP 41 Achilles support tasks for activation the basis and complete the tasks in a period of 14 uninterrupted working hours.

Likewise, the course of the Midshipmen, Sailors and Soldiers Infantrymen in training took part in all operational activities of this COMANTAR and assimilated the relevance for Chile for the maintenance of the presence of the Chilean Navy in the Antarctic area and its contribution as logistical support of national and foreign bases.

At the end of the task, Transport AP 41 Achilles went to Deception Island and was able to carry out an operational landing to carry out a reconnaissance of the area. It should be noted that it has a huge volcanic crater inside and allows access to Baha Puerto Foster thanks to a narrow access from the sea called Neptune Bellows. To be able to appreciate the impressive natural landscape offered by the cliffs, up to 500 meters high, around the bay, a place where in the 1960s, in the midst of violent volcanic activity, the rescue of scientists and the provision of servants to the air force Naval is one of the milestones of naval aviation in the Chilean Navy.

In this way, in the development of COMANTAR 2020-2021, units are maintained to support logistical support in the Chilean Antarctic region, which develop basic tasks for the protection of the safety and areas of interest of maritime transport, for national development and for international cooperation.

Text and photo: Third Sea Zone (Chilean Navy)

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