Argentina's Defense Minister Jorge Taiana has announced the Petrel Base will be reopened following repairs as he oversaw the commencement of this season's Summer Antarctic Campaign.
During a ceremony at the Antarctic Joint Command (Cocoantar) headquarters in Buenos Aires, Taiana Monday said one objective this year is the reconstruction and repair of the Petrel base, which will no longer be a temporary base. Petrel presents very favorable conditions due to its location ... of strategic importance.
This 118th Summer Antarctic Campaign (CAV, for its acronym in Spanish) will consist of delivering supplies to the 13 Argentine bases, some of them permanent, others just temporary, in addition to logistical support to scientific activities carried out on site.
Taiana also announced the permanent reopening of the Petrel Base, which he highlighted to be of strategic importance for a better scientific development. The minister, therefore, insisted through a statement on the importance of a very powerful and active CAV to recover the pace that was limited during the previous campaign by the coronavirus pandemic.
He also underscored that an important objective this year is the reconstruction and repair of the Petrel base, which will cease to be a temporary base and will become a permanent base. Petrel presents very favorable conditions due to its location and has strategic importance.
Petrel is the first joint base where the three Armed Forces coexist. It is located on Dundee Island and is expected to be used as part of an Antarctic logistics bridge, the Defense Ministry's statement went on. The location of this base is optimal because it has a plain at sea level very rare in Antarctica, which gives it a microclimate in the summer. It also has a meteorological station.
We must have the perspective of an Argentina that looks towards the South Atlantic, towards the Islands, towards Antarctica with a bicontinental vision because that strategic vision will be the axis for the exercise of our sovereign rights and the future of a sustainable development for the country, Taiana stressed.
He also pointed out that that the decision to reopen the Petrel Base to achieve a greater presence and better scientific development is key for future generations of our country.
Over 2,000 people are expected to be involved in this season's CAV in addition to the icebreaker ARA Almirante Irízar, a transport ship, two polar sloops, three Hercules C-130 aircraft, a liaison airplane, and two helicopters, among other logistics machinery.
Taiana also underscored the strategic importance of Argentina's permanent presence in Antarctica since 1904. From an early age our country understood the importance of Antarctica and that is why we are founding members of the Antarctic Treaty. We know of the scientific development that is being carried out and of the importance it has in claiming the reaffirmation of our sovereignty.
Due to the pandemic, the Antarctic Campaign was affected by a strict protocol that made it necessary to reduce scientific work to a minimum. The COVID-19 protocol will be enforced yet again this time around while pursuing a return to normalcy from a scientific angle, the Defense Ministry explained.
At the same time and as a milestone in CAV operations, the construction of the Ushuaia logistics hub is set to begin shortly. We have created a monitoring committee within the framework of the Ministry to advance in the construction of a Logistics Pole that includes the construction of a pier and service houses for the personnel, as well as facilities destined to provide assistance services to ships and vessels so that it is possible to supply the national Antarctic bases quickly and efficiently, Taiana detailed as he underscored the country's new process of optimization of the Antarctic logistics capabilities of the Armed Forces to strengthen Argentina's scientific activity in the South Atlantic.