Japanese Icebreaker Supports Australians in Antarctica


2016-05-02 We earlier posted some photos of Australians working in Australia to support its mission in Anarctica.

Now according to a report from the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the Japanese have come to help the Aussies when their own icebreaker well “broke down.”


Since the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis grounded on February 24th off the Antarctica, the Government of Australia requested the Chairman of the Headquarters for the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology) to assist transportation of Australian expeditioners and others by the Japanese icebreaker Shirase, which were scheduled to navigate in that sea area.

After the review following the request, approx. 70 expeditioners and three helicopters, which were supposed to be transported by the icebreaker Aurora Australis, got aboard the Shirase.

The Shirase transported them from Australia’s Mawson Research Station to the Casey Research Station.

Earlier we reported on the Australian mission as follows:

03/23/2016: A team of maintainers from 723 SQN have lent their support to the RAAF in recovering three AS350 Squirrel helicopters for the Australian Antarctic Division in Antarctica.

Leading Seaman Jodie Khan, Petty Officer Mark Anderson and Leading Seaman Tim Graham were collected from HMAS Albatross in a RAAF C17 Globemaster, flown to Hobart and then on to Wilkins Aerodrome near South Casey Station.

As well as their expertise, the team provided specialised equipment including loading ramps 723 Squadron developed specifically for loading Squirrel helicopters into the C17 Globemaster.

A permanent base in Antarctica is managed by the Australian Antarctic Division.

It lies on the northern side of the Bailey Peninsula overlooking Vincennes Bay on the Budd Coast of Wilkes Land in the Australian Antarctic Territory.