Antarctic Postal Procedures - Operation Deep Freeze - 1985
NSFA P5110/1 (8-85)
SUMMER SUPPORT ADDRESS:
BOX _____ /CODE _____
FPO SAN FRANCISCO 96601-6010
Table of Contents
ANTARCTICDEVRON SIX (VXE-6)
USARP; Antarctic Services, Inc.
Certified Customs Tags
Mail From/To New Zealand
Military Guard Mail
Mail Call At McMurdo
Post Office Hours
Commander, U.S. Naval Support Force, Antarctica
LCDR THOMAS H. FOSTER
PCC R. VASQUEZ
PCSN D.E. SMITH
VXE-6 Mail Handler
Antarctic Services, Inc.
AUTHORIZED MAIL AGENTS
The purpose of this booklet is to acquaint all personnel, both civilian and military, with U.S. Mail procedures which move mail to the Antarctic continent. First let's look at the total mail movement system used to get those important letters to us down under.|
The United States Postal System (U.S.P.S.) and Our Mail
All mail destined for Antarctica, regardless of class, filters through the U.S.P.S. system in the continental U.S. to the Postal Concentration Center (PCC) located in San Francisco, California. Upon arrival at the PCC, all mail is up-graded, regardless of class, to AIR MAIL. However, THIRD/FOUTH Class Mail will move to N.Z. only as space/weight becomes available on flights south. (Allow 4-8 weeks for delivery of 3RD/4RD Class Mail). Once the sorting process is completed, our mail is bagged and moved to the PANAM Agent at the San Francisco airport. The PANAM Agent coordinates the movement of our mail with PANAM scheduled flights to Auckland, New Zealand. Upon arrival at Auckland, New Zealand, the mail moves again to the New Zealand airlines for onward movement to Christchurch, New Zealand. Once mail arrives at the Christchurch, New Zealand airport, it is turned over to the U.S. Postal Clerk, COMNAVSUPPFORANTARCTICA Detachment Christchurch for onward movement to the military post office, McMurdo.
Upon arrival at McMurdo, the mail is processed (sorted) at the post office and is then delivered, where possible, to authorized "Mail Orderlies" who are designated in writing by the different units, commands, contract agencies, etc., located in McMurdo.
ALL MAIL THAT CANNOT BE DELIVERED BY THIS METHOD CEASES
TO BE "MAIL" ONCE IT LEAVES THE MCMURDO POST OFFICE.
Mail service - that is, official U.S.P.S. accountability for mail terminates at McMurdo. Outlying station/camp mail is forwarded as "PRIORITY CARGO" on the first available aircraft after processing at the McMurdo Post Office. Rest assured that every effort will be made to effect delivery to you by the safest and most direct means available to us in ANTARCTICA.
The average delivery time from home to you on the ICE (when you are located in McMurdo), is approximately 7-10 days for letter mail from West Coast addresses. 10-15 days from East Coast addresses. THRID AND FOURTH CLASS MAIL (MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, ETC.) TAKE FOUR TO EIGHT WEEKS TO REACH MCMURDO. IF YOU REQUIRE QUICKER DELIVERY OF THIS TYPE MAIL, IT IS SUGGESTED YOU CONTACT YOUR PUBLISHERS TO UPGRADE YOUR MAIL TO FIRST CLASS DELIVERY.
Properly addressed mail is the most important key to effective processing for delivery.|
Two zip codes, 96601-6010 and 96692-1000 have been provided to move mail to Antarctica. Mail addressed to 96601-6010 will be routed to McMurdo in September and re-routed to Port Hueneme/Point Mugu in February. Mail addressed to 96692-1000 will be held in Christchurch after the close of the summer operating season and routed to Antarctica on the next available air mission.
MAIL DELIVERY CARDS
Whether your location on the Antarctic Continent or Christchurch, NZ changes for a period in excess of two weeks, you should complete a mail directory card and submit it to the Post Office. Timely completion of the mail directory card will ensure proper routing of your mail.
Utilize the following box numbers and departmental codes to assist in sorting all mail upon arrival at McMurdo:
BOX 100 (McMurdo) (Also used as General Delivery when no BOX number shown)
BOX 200 (Williams Field)
BOX 300 (Siple Station)
BOX 400 (South Pole) Zip - FPO San Francisco, CA 96691
BOX 500 (Byrd Station)
BOX 600 (TAD Christchurch, NZ)
BOX 700 (Port Hueneme, CA)
DEPARTMENTAL CODES (Used for internal routing)
10 - ADMIN
20 - COMMUNICATIONS
30 - OPERATIONS
30A - FIRE HOUSE
30B - WILLIAMS FIELD TOWER
40 - SUPPLY
40A - FUEL
50 - PUBLIC WORKS
60 - MEDICAL
70 - TERMINAL OPS
||YN1 Jane J. Doe, USN|
BOX 100/Code 30A
FPO San Francisco 96601-6010
BUCN Jim S. Smith, USN|
Box 100/code 50
FPO San Francisco 96692-1000
ANTARCTICDEVRON SIX (VXE-6)|
ABH2 James P. GETTY, USN
ANTARCTICDEVRON SIX (VXE-6)
FPO San Francisco 96601-6521
USARP-ANTARCTIC SERVICES, INC
A mail "Directory Card" should be filed with the Post Office to ensure that your mail is forwarded to you at the close of the operating season. These cards are available from the ANS, Inc. Administrative Representative in McMurdo or the Post office. All mail without box numbers will be forwarded to the "Chalet" for sorting and onward movement to field camps or stations by ANS, Inc. personnel designated for the task.
It is suggested that USARP and ANS, Inc. personnel utilize the following box numbers for outlying field camps/stations:
BOX NUMBERS (Used for your location when at these stations over two weeks)
BOX 100 (McMurdo Station)
BOX 200 (Williams Field)
BOX 300 ( Siple Station)
BOX 400 (South Pole)
BOX 500 (Byrd Station)
BOX 600 (Christchurch, NZ)
BOX 700 (USARP general sort in McMurdo, and ANS, Inc. Construction Crews in McMurdo).
ADDRESS EXAMPLE :
Dr/Mr. Tim R. SPOCK
Box 400, USARP or ANS, Inc.
FPO San Francisco, CA 96651
The full range of Postal services are available at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. However, REGISTERED, CERTIFIED, or INSURED mail MAY NOT be forwarded to any outlying camp or station since it may not leave the U.S.P.S. system. Your designated agent may receive your REGISTERED, CERTIFIED or INSURED mail. Otherwise it will be held for you in McMurdo until the close of the summer operating season.|
Registered mail is not recommended for use in Antarctica as it must be signed for at each Post Office it passes through. As a result, registered mail will take one to four weeks longer than regular first class mail or priority mail. Of course if you desire, you may and should use registered mail for all high value items (e.g. electronics, radio, etc.). Just remember Registered Mail service, is only available at McMurdo. If you desire to take advantage of this service, your authorized agent may introduce your mail, into the U.S.P.S. system at McMurdo. You as well as your agent will also be required to sign a customs declaration beneath the return address in order to identify who introduced the package into the military mail system, and please don't give the Postal Clerks a hard time about this...it is a requirement of military postal regulations.
CERTIFIED, INSURED, AND SPECIAL DELIVERY
All of these services are available at the McMurdo Post Office. If you are not sure which is the best way to mail an article, ask the Postal Clerk for advice.
REMEMBER, IF A PACKAGE IS NOT INSURED, A MAIL DAMAGE CLAIM CANNOT BE SUBMITTEDDAMAGED/LOST MAIL CLAIM
A claim for loss of insured mail may be only filed by the mailer. Claims for damage or partial loss of insured mail may be filed by either the mailer or the addressee. The claim may be filed at a Post Office, or Branch or Station. The Postal System Form 3812, Request for Payment of Domestic Postal Insurance, will be used to request payment for the loss of, or damage to, insured mail. Time limits do apply for filing your claim, so check with the postal personnel at your earliest convenience and discuss the problem with them.
Any matter for mailing that you introduce into the postal system is subject to question by authorized postal personnel. This action is authorized by law to insure the mailability of an item.|
EXAMPLES OF NONMAILABLE ITEMS
Flammables (anything which may ignite)
Narcotics (addictive substances or substances subject to abuse)
Odd shaped items
Antarctic wildlife, etc.
Each mailer is responsible for ensuring that items mailed do not violate the provisions of postal or U.S. customs law. Mailers will be required to declare to postal personnel all contents of all parcels offered for mailing.
MAIL FROM/TO NEW ZEALAND
Many of us have friends and relatives in New Zealand and desire to correspond with them directly, vice writing through the international mail system. The following return address should be used on correspondence to personnel in New Zealand:|
John P. JONESWHAT ABOUT POSTAGE?
Letters being sent through the U.S. Post Office at McMurdo to a civilian address in NZ can be paid for at the U.S. International postage fee level. Letters mailed through the Scott Base Post Office can use the Ross Dependency (NZ) stamps. The Navy Post Office will accept letters with NZ postage, however, they must be forwarded to Scott Base for cancellation and onward movement to New Zealand. (2 days processing time.)
MILITARY GUARD MAIL
This service is designed as a low-cost means of transporting official material from point-to-point with-in Department of the Navy activities. It is a means of conducting business without the formality and cost of addressed envelopes, stamps, and processing/handling requirements to which the U.S.P.S. is subject. Special envelopes (SF 65-B) have been designed for this type of communication but are not required.|
The Guard Mail Service from McMurdo to Chirstchurch and to inland stations is controlled by the Terminal Operations Detachment.
MILITARY GUARD MAIL WILL NOT BE USED FOR PERSONAL MATTERS
MAIL CALL AT MCMURDO
Mail is processed (sorted) as soon as it arrives in town from New Zealand. This process takes from three to five hours depending on when the plane lands and when the mail is delivered to the post office in McMurdo. This is a day and night operation.|
PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR VISIT THE POST OFFICE while the mail is being worked. Mail call is announced on the local radio or T.V. station, and responsible Mail Orderlies will be telephoned.
MCMURDO STATION MAIL CALL IS USUALLY LATE AT NIGHT OR FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.
POST OFFICE HOURS*
COUNTER SERVICE AND STAMP SALES|
0800-1700 Monday through Friday.
MONEY ORDER SALES
0800-1200/1300-1530 Monday through Saturday.
*Changes to hours of operation will be posted on the Post Office door and noted in the COMNAVSUPPFORANTARCTIC Plan of the Day, when a particular service is affected.
WILLIAMS FIELD or ICE RUNWAY
Stamp sales and Money Order sales are conducted each military payday. The postal personnel accompany the Disbursing Officer, and will be available in the location designated by the Disbursing Officer for payday. Your mail orderly is authorized to purchase stamps etc., for you in town. Check with this person on the procedures to use.
No stamp or Money Order sales are conducted at outlying camps. Arrangements to meet your postal needs should be worked out with your camp/station manager, who in turn will coordinate postal needs through the ANS, Inc. representative in McMurdo.
Source: Antarctica, ZE files, Navy Department Library.
Related source: Postal Cover Collection in the Navy Department Library.