Soldier's duty on ice

Last updated 15:26 25/01/2013
Krystol Teague
Rather chilly: Corporal Krystol Teague is getting used to the extreme cold.

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From serving in the steamy heat of Darwin to the chilly cold in Antarctica, Army chef corporal Krystol Teague has gone from one extreme to the other.

Corporal Teague, 27, who attended Chilton Saint James School and Upper Hutt College, joined the Army in 2005. Before deploying, Krystol was based at Linton Military Camp where she served a la carte meals to senior ranked personnel.

"I also served at the Royal Australian Air Force base in Darwin from July to August last year as part of Exercise Pitch Black, supporting the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). I had a two-week break before coming to Antarctica in October," says corporal Teague.

She is one of four NZ Defence Force personnel providing 24/7 communications support at Scott Base.

The communications operators are Scott Base's link to the outside world and answer a wide range of calls from all over the world. Working in eight-hour shifts, they also monitor all the scientists and workers in the field, providing weather updates and news broadcasts.

"My husband works as a mechanic in the Army and has served in Antarctica so he encouraged me to apply," corporal Teague says. "I enjoy the diversity here, the balance of work and social, and that the permanent staff want to make it work for everyone."

She returns to New Zealand next month.

The NZ Defence Force has been involved in Antarctica for more than 50 years, supporting Antarctica New Zealand and the US Antarctic Programme.

About 200 NZ Defence Force personnel are involved at various stages. The NZ Army Light Engineering Team will carry out projects to ensure facilities and equipment can withstand the harsh winters. The mission will peak in February during the annual supply ship offload during which Defence personnel will work round the clock in 24 hour daylight to unload containers and move cargo to McMurdo and Scott Bases.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force provides a number of C-130 and B757 flights moving supplies and personnel, an Airdrop Rigging Team assists with a C-17 training drop, a small number of personnel support the US Air National Guard with maintenance tasks, and the Harewood Terminal Team in Christchurch are kept busy throughout the season.

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