BY SUZANNA BRUGLER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR,
OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS NAVSUP GLOBAL LOGISTICS SUPPORT
NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS) postal products and services facilitated mail services for the first time to Antarctica in support of heavy icebreaker United States Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star’s (WAGB 10) port visit to McMurdo Station, Jan. 17-19.
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NAVSUP GLS Postal Team, LS1 Nancy Cid, mail routing lead petty officer; Ramon Arredondo, NAVSUP GLS supervisor mail routing; and LS1 Christian Mountain, mail router. –photo by Kim Longstaff
Recently, NAVSUP GLS postal products and services have been treading new territory as it actively facilitates the safe delivery of packages and letters to maritime service members deployed to the far reaches of the globe, from Antarctica and beyond.
“We are providing more reach and getting more creative in how we deliver mail to our globally deployed maritime service members,” said Ramon Arredondo, NAVSUP GLS mail routing analyst.
Before February 2015, military mail was facilitated by the Joint Military Postal Agency (JMPA) via the mail routing instruction, taking into account ships’ movements and dates. JMPA would determine the mail cut dates, when to start and stop shipping, and where mail should be forwarded, with just a few fixed postal hub locations around the world.
Now, with built-in maritime knowledge and expertise, the NAVSUP GLS routing center is getting more creative, and pushing the envelope in the mail delivery process.
“The NAVSUP GLS routing center is now the primary hub for mail routing for the Navy, Coast Guard, United States naval ships (Military Sealift Command), and embarked Marines. One hundred percent of all Navy mail routing goes through the NAVSUP GLS routing center, where we conduct the research to determine the best route for the mail,” said Arredondo.
As an example of recent postal efficiencies, consider the Polar Star post visit to McMurdo Station. The mail originated in Chicago, in the international service center and military mail hub. It then flew to Fleet Mail Center Yokohama, Japan, via commercial airlift. From there, it traveled via commercial air to Sydney, Australia, and to Christchurch, New Zealand, also by commercial air. Finally, military airlift delivered the mail to Antarctica for the final leg of the long voyage to get to the Coast Guardsmen.
“We make it a point to identify every possible means of support, whether via commercial airlines, military assets such as replenishment-at-sea and other means,” said Arredondo.
Domestic military mail transportation is coordinated with the U.S. Postal Service.