Mexeflote Raft

Mexeflotes in Manitoba

"Third Base: The Case for CFB Churchill" is an intriguing and timely article written by Jose Assis Giammaria in the latest issue of CNR (Volume 15, No. 1). If the navy did consider basing the AOPS in Churchill perhaps a case could be made to base mexeflotes in Manitoba.

The port is served by Hudson Bay Railway and mexeflote pontoons could be loaded on rail flatcars going north. The similarity in size between 20 foot shipping containers and mexeflote pontoons may allow the railway to use the double-stack rail cars also.

An AOPS from Halifax could dock in Churchill to refuel, resupply and load cargo delivered by rail to Canada's deep-water Arctic port. With fuel tanks and cargo decks full, the AOPS could continue her voyage across the Arctic to visit northern communities and bases.

Arriving in northern communities, the AOPS could deploy the mexeflote and off-load heavy machinery, vehicles and cargo. The final link in the supply chain is to call on the local harbour pilot (i.e., a Canadian Ranger) to safely guide the mexeflote to shore.

Perhaps this is a far-fetched scenario but all the pieces, except the mexeflote are in place to make it happen.


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