Crew of Coast Guard Cutter SPAR completes first week of Arctic Shield 2013 deployment

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter SPAR conduct a towinf exercise with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Naushon near Kodiak, Alaska, Friday, June 28, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by cutter SPAR.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter SPAR conduct a towinf exercise with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Naushon near Kodiak, Alaska, Friday, June 28, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by cutter SPAR.

By Cadet Jack Hall and Seaman George Benjamin

The first week under way has been busy for the crew of Coast Guard Cutter SPAR as they steamed north from their homeport in Kodiak, Alaska, to participate in Operation Arctic Shield 2013. The mission: provide a presence in the Arctic, service aids to navigation and train jointly with the Canadian coast guard.

The week began with a towing exercise conducted with the crew of the Ketchikan-based Coast Guard Cutter Naushon shortly after departing Kodiak. Thanks to some skilled ship handling by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Davis, a boatswain’s mate, and a well-placed shot from a line-handling gun by Seaman Jacob Tyrell, the SPAR’s crew successfully passed a towline to the crew of the Naushon and took them in tow. The exercise allowed the crew of the SPAR to test their ability to take a 110-foot Coast Guard patrol boat in tow and provide assistance, like refueling, to the smaller vessel.   

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter SPAR works a buoy near St. Paul Island, Alaska, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, as part of their Arctic Shield 2013 deployment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by cutter SPAR.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter SPAR works a buoy near St. Paul Island, Alaska, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, as part of their Arctic Shield 2013 deployment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by cutter SPAR.

Following the successful towing evolution, crew of the SPAR turned the ship toward King Cove, a small fishing village on the Alaska Peninsula, loaded two buoys stored there, and continued north to conduct various duties, including a hydrographic survey of the St. George Island harbor and replacement of a buoy near St. Paul Island.

The Coast Guard 17th District announced its Arctic Shield 2013 plans to protect the maritime community in the Arctic and to strengthen their partnerships with federal, state, local, tribal and community members in mid-May.

After a successful Arctic Shield 2012 operation on the North Slope and Barrow, this year, the Coast Guard will focus on Western Alaska and the Bering Strait to increase maritime domain awareness.

Please check back next week for more from SPAR’s Arctic Shield 2013 deployment. You can also follow us for all Alaska-based Coast Guard news and Arctic operations on Facebook and Twitter @USCGAlaska.

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