Rear Adm. Dan Abel congratulates Petty Officer 2nd Class Jennifer Stubblefield, a reservist stationed at Station Valdez, for earning boatcrew qualifications. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Last Frontier: Alaska’s Reservists

If you take mobilizing on a moment’s notice to the unpredictable weather and conditions that are commonplace in the vastness of the Last Frontier, and add that to the Coast Guard’s motto of Always Ready, you get Alaska’s Coast Guard Reserve. It’s during adverse moments of amplified operational conditions reserve members are called upon to provide the Coast Guard with the necessary tools and additional staffing.

(Left to right) Lt. Grant Langston, Petty Officer 2nd Class William Smith, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Warner and Lt. Francis Wolfe pose for a photo in front of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter March 19, 2015. The crew was awarded the Naval Helicopter Association Aircrew of the Year (Deployed) for the rescue of a crew member aboard the South Korean research vessel Araon in August 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings.

Arctic rescue: Closing the distance

It was Aug. 19, 2014, when crewmembers at FOL Barrow were notified of a 42 year-old male who had sustained a severe head injury aboard the South Korean research vessel Araon; a vessel that was located in thick ice-covered waters 310 miles north of Barrow. It was determined that two Jayhawk crews would make the lengthy trip north and rescue the mariner.


The Last Frontier: Team Sitka

Coming from two completely different worlds, in terms of training and daily operations, it’s the ability to help each other accomplish their missions that make the two units a perfect match. As long as they’re able to safeguard mariners in Southeast Alaska, everyone is happy.

Pacific Area Commander Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray and 17th District Commander Rear Adm. Dan Abel present the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor award to Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Kreske at Coast Guard Base Kodiak, Alaska, Feb. 18, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings.

To Define Heroism

What is your definition of heroism? While to some the first definition that comes to mind might be a one-time heroic action, we would like to provide you with a different type of example. Not just a single act in the heat-of-the-moment, but a consistent display of extraordinary heroism. A consistency and perseverance demonstrated in decision-making and problem-solving where an individual, on more than one occasion, moves beyond their training and everyday duties, and applies those skills in the service of others.

Coast Guard Lt. Frank Wolfe, a pilot from Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, answers questions posed by students of Academy Charter School in Palmer Jan. 29, 2015. A flight crew from Air Station Kodiak flew an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to the school to share their stories with the children as part of an intensive called "Fly 'em High; Helicopters' role in Alaska." U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert.

Learning to fly: Air Station Kodiak flight crew descends on Palmer, Alaska, school

Whether they’re behind the controls of a sophisticated aircraft or soaring through the air and saving the day as a superhero, the ability to fly is a common dream for children. Thursday, Jan. 29, students at Academy Charter School in Palmer, Alaska, had the opportunity to speak with the real-life superheroes of Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak when an MH-60 Jayhawk crew descended onto their soccer field for a visit.

The crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and Republic of Korea vessel Sam-Bong conduct a search in the Bering Sea near Chukotka, Russia, Dec. 13, 2014. The Sam-Bong relieved the Alex Haley crew in the search for missing crewmembers from the sunken fishing vessel 501 Oryong. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould.

International search in the Bering

In a community effort between the Coast Guard, Russian SAR Mission Coordinator, international good Samaritans, South Korean government and the U.S. Air Force, a 4,576 square mile search was conducted for the 60 crewmembers of the capsized South Korean fishing vessel 501 Oryong in the Bering Sea off the coast of the Chukotka in northeast Russia.

The 441-foot Russian freight vessel Simushir adrift after losing propulsion along the coastline of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, with 11 personnel aboard and an estimated 168,000 gallons of fuel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Adrift in Canadian waters

With Alaskan waters bordering Canada in both the north and south, it’s no surprise that the U.S. and Canadian coast guards work hand-in-hand, training together annually to respond to maritime emergencies. Unpredictable Arctic weather presents complex challenges, and both countries occasionally rely on one another to provide a helping hand.

AST1 Rachid Arnick featured image

So others may live: AST1 Rachid Arnick

So others may live. It’s the creed of the aviation rescue swimmer community and a promise to those in danger that when a Coast Guard rescue swimmer enters the water, she or he will do everything in their power – including risk their own life – to save you.

Medevac Feature Photo

The Last Frontier: Flight Surgeon

In just the first seven months of 2014, Coast Guard 17th District crews performed 99 medevacs and non-maritime medical transports. No two of these vital rescue missions look the same. From skiffs, to cargo ships, to fishing boats, to small Southeast Alaska villages, the locations and platforms are as diverse as the ailments and injuries. Just as eclectic are the responding assets: one day an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, the next day a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium.

Chris Thompson, an Unmanned Aircraft System operator for AeroVironment, directs a Puma All Environment UAS into a net mounted to the Coast Guard Cutter Healy during an exercise in the Arctic Aug. 23, 2014. Researchers from the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, based in the New London, Conn., and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deployed the UAS to test its capabilities in the Arctic. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert.

Coast Guard Research and Development Center, NOAA test Unmanned Aircraft System during Arctic exercise

COAST GUARD CUTTER HEALY, At Sea – Soaring high above the shifting ice and frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean, a silent sentinel patrolled the skies above the Coast Guard Cutter Healy during its journey to the Arctic this summer. […]

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