DVIDS – News – Coast Guard concludes Operation Arctic Shield 2021


JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard concluded its annual Arctic Shield operations on Sunday with the seasonal closure of its forward operating location in Kotzebue, Alaska.

Kodiak Air Force Base aircrews and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters have been deployed to the front of Kotzebue to provide reduced coverage and response times to remote areas of Alaska during increased activity summer and fall seascapes.

Coast Guard crews deployed in support of Operation Arctic Shield, which began July 1, responding to 15 search and rescue cases, saving 18 lives and assisting 7 others.
“This season, the Coast Guard’s forward operations site, Kotzebue, was busier than ever serving isolated Alaskan communities, hunters and sailors across the Arctic,” said Captain Nathan Coulter , Commander of Kodiak Air Base. “The cases we responded to ranged from rescuing 2 month old babies to survivors of bear attacks and our operations spanned from Nightmute to Little Diomede and Utqiagvik. It is and is a privilege to serve the northernmost communities in the United States. As we have been doing since 1947, Coast Guard Kodiak Air Force Base is ready to respond to safety and security missions throughout Alaska.

To prevent hazards at sea, Coast Guard personnel from the 17th District and Anchorage Area conducted 128 facility inspections and 470 commercial fishing vessel safety reviews.

A detachment of the Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) in San Francisco, Calif., Conducted seasonal operations in Bristol Bay near King Salmon and Naknek, supporting the same objective. During its 47 days of operation, the MSST San Francisco enforced commercial fishing vessel safety standards while providing search and rescue capabilities, strengthening community relationships and partnering with d other government agencies. In addition, Coast Guard crews Hickory and Kukui, 225-foot marine buoys docked at Homer and Sitka respectively, patrolled the Gulf of Alaska to Bristol Bay as well as the Aleutian Ranges and the Sea of Bering.

Coast Guard Midgett and Kimball, 418-foot Legend-class coastguards, based in Honolulu, Hawaii, conducted operations north of the Bering Strait for 16 days. Coast Guard Healy, a 420-foot polar icebreaker based in Seattle, Washington, spent 23 days operating in the same area.

The Coast Guard also continued to partner and provided critical support to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Office of Naval Research.
In addition, four international engagements at sea were conducted by crews aboard Coast Guard Midgett and Coast Guard Bertholf, based in Alameda, Calif., Alongside crews from the Japanese Navy, Canadian Coast Guard and the Russian Border Guard.

“I am proud of the current success of this operation and the Coast Guard’s continued ability to provide essential services to Arctic communities,” said Rear Admiral Nathan Moore, Commander of Coast Guard 17th District. “The successful rescues are due almost entirely to the strength of our partnership with local community responders, the people who know the area and their communities best. “

The annual Operation Arctic Shield, which began in 2009, is the Coast Guard’s mobile and seasonal presence focused on executing the service’s 11 statutory missions in the Arctic to ensure safety, security and maritime stewardship.

Date taken: 10/29/2021
Date posted: 29.10.2021 14:04
Story ID: 408325
Site: KOTZEBUE, AK, United States
Hometown: KODIAK, AK, United States

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