The Clothing Distribution Center

Entrance to the CDC

We had our Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) clothing issued today. The Clothing Distribution Center (CDC), located near the Airport outside of Christchurch, is run by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) contractor, Raytheon Polar Services Corp. (RPSC) and the employees are New Zealanders.

We had already completed paperwork which provided the CDC employees with our clothing issue equipments and sizes. The process is smooth as it happens a few times each week.

RPSC/Mike McIlroy, CDC Manager, provides the briefing on clothing issue and the flight to McMurdo.

I’d arrived early for the 1pm briefing so I was able to try on most of my gear before the briefing, which comes packed into two orange bags. It is very important to ensure the clothing is correctly sized and all the zippers and fasteners work properly as there is only a limited ability to replace items in McMurdo. Luckily, most of my equipment was new and all of it was sized properly—that and the fact that I had just done the same thing in January 2010 made it go quickly. The good news from the briefing is we depart for McMurdo on tomorrow.

GSFC 596/Mike Mahon trying on his gear.

The last step is to prepare baggage for loading on the C-17 in tomorrow morning. I had spent this morning repacking my bags for personal clothing and equipment into a large suitcase to take to McMurdo, a carry on (including my computer), and a “Boomerang Bag” in case the flight is cancelled or must return to Christchurch, and a bag to leave at CDC—this allows you to have access to some personal clothing and your shaving gear. The palletized checked baggage, except for the “Boomerang Bag” is unavailable if this happens.

In under two hours we were done. I’m off to dinner in Christchurch!

Clothing required for the flight.

One thought on “The Clothing Distribution Center”

  1. What?! Mike Mahon is on your team? He was one of my Co-ops, too. Glad to see GSFC is hiring THE best students who are worthy of such a trip 🙂

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