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U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker returns home after four-month Arctic deployment

The US Coast Guard cutter Healy (WAGB 20) returns to Seattle on November 11, 2022 after completing a multi-month deployment in the Arctic.  (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier)
The US Coast Guard cutter Healy (WAGB 20) returns to Seattle on November 11, 2022 after finishing a multi-month deployment within the Arctic. (US Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier)

SEATTLE — U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20) returned to its homeport of Seattle on Friday after a historic 17,000-mile, 124-day deployment to the excessive Arctic latitudes that included a transit to the North Pole.

The crew’s efforts demonstrated interoperability within the polar area, supported US safety aims and projected an ice-capable presence in Arctic waters and the Gulf of Alaska.

“It is more important than ever to ensure safety and a sovereign presence in the Arctic and to expand oceanographic research to understand the impact of environmental changes,” mentioned Capt. Kenneth Boda, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy. “The crew of Healy is proud to have completed this mission to the North Pole and back, advancing American interests across the Arctic Ocean.”

Commissioned in 2000, Healy is a 420-foot medium-sized icebreaker and a uniquely succesful oceanographic analysis platform. Healy’s crew crossed the ice-covered Arctic Ocean to the highest of the world, reaching the Geographic North Pole on September 30, 2022. This was solely the second time a US floor ship had reached 90 levels north unaccompanied.

In July and August, after a port name in Seward, Alaska, Healy traveled within the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and headed as a lot as 78 levels north whereas main a workforce from the University of Applied Physics Department sponsored by the Office of Naval Research Washington supported Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The embarked workforce labored with the Healy crew to undertake varied developments together with the deployment and restoration of sea gliders, underwater sensors and acoustic buoys within the rim and pack ice zones as a part of the Arctic Mobile Observing System.

During transit to and from the Arctic, Healy participated with Air Station Kodiak MH-60 helicopter crews in flight operations in Kotzebue Sound and off the coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska, conducting go drills with Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). and accomplished patrols of the U.S.-Russia worldwide maritime border line.

In September and October, after a port go to in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Healy traveled north once more to conduct multidisciplinary, internationally collaborative analysis as a part of the Synoptic Arctic Survey. The embarked workforce, funded by the National Science Foundation, collected samples and information to review environmental adjustments throughout the Arctic Ocean. Upon reaching the North Pole, Healy performed two days of scientific operations and the crew loved a number of hours of freedom from ice.

After disembarking the entire science workers throughout a second logistics cease in Dutch Harbor in late October, Healy made a remaining port go to to Juneau, Alaska, the place family and friends of crew members had the chance to sail on the cutter in the course of the remaining voyage by means of the inside passage to Seattle.

The Coast Guard supplies the United States’ most lively and visual floor presence within the polar areas and is at present recapitalizing its polar icebreaker fleet to make sure continued entry to those areas in help of the nation’s financial, business, maritime and nationwide safety wants.

The operational polar fleet at present contains the Healy and the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10), a 399-foot icebreaker that entered service in 1976. Designed for open water ice breaking, these cutters function strengthened hulls and specifically angled bows.

Polar safety cutters will permit the US to keep up defensive readiness within the Arctic and Antarctic areas; Enforce contracts and different legal guidelines vital to guard business and the atmosphere; provision of ports, waterways and coastal safety; and to supply logistical help – together with ship escort – to facilitate the motion of products and personnel essential to help scientific analysis, commerce, nationwide safety actions and maritime security.


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