Accepted Alternate Position 2008 – 2009

Antarctica Forums Forums Antarctic Memories Message Board Discussion topics Accepted Alternate Position 2008 – 2009

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #575

    Howdy gang,
    Bill Erhardt in Helena, Montana. I accepted an alternate position as Vehicle Driver for the 2008-2009 season. I know that I may not get deployed but an honored to be selected for the alternate position.
    I have been in training the last couple weeks for our Wild Land Fire season. Just finished my Helicopter Crew Member refresher, pack test, and Standards for Survival. Again I will be doing communications with an All Risk Incident Management Team and on the fuel truck/Helicoper Crew Member refueling, flight following, cargo, and personal transport.  Ye Ha  another fire season is upon the Northern Rockies..
    For Roy Wendell, as I may not get deployed as alternate, I wanted to let you know as I know you needed help at the Ham Station.
    Cheers All and if I don’t get deployed I wish everyone who does a safe journey on a truly remarkable adventure..
    Cheers from Montana  Bill Erhardt


    Good news there Bill. Your next step is to get the medical PQ completed before anyone else. You are probably not the only alternate. If an opening arises, wouldn’t it be nice if you were the only person to have everthing in order.
    Hope we see you down there.


    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for advise.  I was alternate for SPAWAR ( Bob Zook signed me up) two years ago so Raytheon has my medical/dental. I just did my annual dental and got to proper X-Rays for Raytheon and my Bruce Test (Stress) is good for this year. So only the main medical/dental paperwork  to do and I have made an appointments.
    I was chuckling reading through when I seen the term FNG !!!!! I was laughing because in my Naval Career I was on exchange duty with the Canadian Navy. They sent me to a little place called Alert 82 degrees north thru Tule Greenland and thats what they called me when I arrived.   I guess it is applicable to the ends of the earth  ha ha !!!!
    Cheers Bill K7MT Helena, Mt.


    I think the term is a military acronym that dates back to at least the Viet Nam war and maybe further back.
    It stands for F—-ing New Guy and refers to how clueless everyone is when they first arrive. You’ll be in the same boat as soon as you arrive. That is unless you hang around in the coffee house and get tips from Atlas.
    Until then in  McM you are likely to be walking around with your eyes wide open, trying to find the MCC, Highway One, MMI, Hotel Cal or any of the other hundred names of places that only the people who have been there before know.
    Fingies are also often quick to point out that back in the states they did things in a different way and that MCM would be better off doing the same thing. They have little concept at first of what it is like to have to wait a year and a half to get a part that is needed.
    There is also a difference between the summer and winter staff. It is considerably warmer in the summer and that translates into things working better while it is warm.
    Come winter the insulation on wires crack and break. Hydraulic hoses get stiff. The rims of vehicle tires shrink more than the frozen tires and while the frozen tire looks full of air, the second you go driving away the tire falls off the rim.
    Cold is bizarre, a long supply chain is bizarre, packing a thousand people into a little space is bizarre and on it goes. After a few months it all seems normal and you will start to blend in by your second year, but until then, you might as well enjoy your lostness to the fullest. It’s an awesome place with awesome people.
    Ten years down the road, I still get a feeling of awe when I step off the plane on all that ice, but it pales to how I felt the first time I did it. Nothing will ever compare again. I’ll bet most people have similar feelings.


    Mike gives sound advise.  Some folks at McMurdo take pleasure in giving FNG’s wrong information and watching them spend the day looking for the swimming pool or going by the VMF (Vehicle maintenance Facility) and asking for helium for their Bunny boots.  Find folks like Mike and Atlas and you will be in good shape.  Don’t fall for the rumor of the day, there are more at McMurdo than anyplace you have ever been.
    And trust me, what Mike says about being in awe of the place, no matter how many times you have been there, is dead on.  I have been to the ice a couple more times than Mike, and each and every time is special.  It’s both the place and the people; nothing like it anywere else.


    Even BT was a FNG once.  I think it was Shackleton that first called that, the day he reported for duty on the ship…


    is there a good mix of newbies and oldtimers each year, or one more than the other? from the looks of this site, it seems like everyone is pretty helpful and welcoming….is it like that on the ice and traveling to….? from some of the stuff i was reading on just getting there seem a bit overwhelming at first…..  
    we had a polar bear initation on the CG ship when i got there and it was pretty harmelss, and pretty hilarious, we were “pollywogs” for a couple days, were sold in an auction and slaves to whoever bought us for a day!…… but didn’t compared to some of the things they did to us in bootcamp though…..not as funny until your out of there though, but hilarious after!  


    The place is full of new people each year and almost everyone is helpful. You’ll have little problem getting through orientation. Just latch onto someone who knows the ropes and let them get you through.
    Everyone of us has been there in the not too distant past and know well how intimidating the process  can be.


    why orientation?? that’s in denver or mcmurdo?


    hey mike,
    would you mind of i emailed you some questions or is it just better to post all the questions that i have here? you seem to be pretty knowledgable…..i have searched through the old post and found some answers but i have a list going for after i get my pq’s done, i don’t think i will have a problem getting through them….i just got my dental/medical physicals, blood test,shots,ect. last year getting out of the CG and everything was fine,(and they are pretty thourough) so im not too worried i’ll have any problems, but who knows… i’m not getting packed or anything yet, but also want to be prepared for when i need to start. thanks


    I’d be happy to answer them privately, but to be honest, anything you ask will be helpful to everyone and it’s easier to answer only one time for the group. You also get more than one opinion with so many people jumping in.
    I started a new thread for questions after you get a contract. Try them there and if there is something personal, send me an email.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.