An optical phenomenon known as a sun dog or halo, which is produced by light interacting with suspended ice crystals in the atmosphere, appears off Coast Guard Cutter Healy’s port bow at the North Pole Sept. 5, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

At True North’s End

As Healy’s crew and science party now turn their gaze southward, they can sail proudly knowing each did their part to successfully push their cutter to the furthest regions of the Arctic. While much science remains to be conducted on the return route to Dutch Harbor, an historic milestone was reached by these 145 souls, and the memory of a formidable goal achieved will be carried with them for all time, wherever they may go.

Petty Officer 1st Class Roy Mesen and Petty Officer 1st Class Cristina Mesen pose on Coast Guard Base Kodiak, Alaska, Oct. 1, 2015. The Mesens have been married since 2000 and are both active duty Coast Guardsmen. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: The Mesens

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. In honor of […]

Chief Petty Officer Federico Sanchez poses for a photo in his Base Kodiak office where he presides over the 17th District Substance Abuse Prevention Program as a full-time prevention facilitator. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: HSC Federico Sanchez

I originally only wanted to do four years, but I fell in love with this service. Once you’re in and see all the good you do for others, it really makes you proud to be a part of a military service that it is so multi-faceted and ingrains itself in the communities we live in.


National Hispanic Heritage Month: SK1 Rubens Rodriguez

I was the first person in my family to join a service other than the Army; My dad went into the Army, my uncles went into the Army. I was looking for another kind of mission.

National Preparedness Month

Alaska Preparedness Boot Camp

September is dedicated to preparedness across the United States, and nowhere is that more important than in Alaska. So we’re not messing around! Work through each of these drills if you want to make it through our preparedness boot camp!

Petty Officer 3rd Class James Abel, an avionics electrical technician from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, prepares to deploy an oceanic data-collecting probe over the Arctic Circle. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson.

90 degrees North

Take a flight to the North Pole on an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane, along with scientist from the University of Washington, as they deploy probes to the icey-waters below in an attempt to study the ever changing Arctic.

Master Chief Petty Officer Brett Verhulst, 17th District command master chief, addresses the crowd of The Patrol Boat Roundup attendees at the conclusion of the week’s events during a morale BBQ. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Patrol Boat Roundup 2015

The 110-foot Island-class patrol boats of Sector Juneau descended upon Ketchikan, Alaska, to participate in this year’s annual Patrol Boat Roundup. Unlike other cutter roundups of the Last Frontier, the focus for the crews of the cutters Liberty, Chandeleur, Naushon and Anacpa was less on competition and more on education and teamwork.


The Last Frontier: Tactical Coxswain

One of Coast Guard Station Juneau’s two 45-foot Response Boats – Medium pulls away from the station’s pier and jets off across the city’s busy little harbor. Petty Officer 1st Class Brett Reilly, the station’s operations officer, test the engines and then lets the boat idle in the rain.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducts an overflight of the grounded fishing vessel Savannah Ray after reports of a diesel sheen near Kodiak Island, Alaska, March 5, 2015. The Savannah Ray initially ran aground Feb. 16, 2015, with four people aboard who were rescued by an aircrew from Air Station Kodiak. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Crew fatigue contributing to commercial fishing vessel groundings

In light of recent groundings in the State of Alaska involving uninspected commercial fishing vessels, owners/operators are reminded to be cognizant of crew fatigue while on watch. Since July 14, 2015 there have been 16 reported commercial fishing vessel groundings across Alaska’s waterways and preliminary investigations have concluded that at least five of the groundings were the result of crew fatigue. During the course of several investigations, masters and crew members admitted to Coast Guard Marine Investigators that they fell asleep at the helm after working long hours for several days.

Maritime operations can open crewmembers up to challenges that compromise their alertness and performance. Exposure to 24/7 fishing vessel operations and restricted sleep opportunities can result in frequent sleep disruptions, increasing contact with fatigue and effective situational awareness. These risk factors can have a negative impact on productivity and crew safety.

AET3 Jeremy Reed

The Last Frontier: First Rescue Flight

On July 17, 2015, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Reed, an avionics electrical technician at Air Station Sitka, embarked on his first search and rescue case since joining the Coast Guard in September of 2008. At around 2 pm, Air Station Sitka was notified of a plane crash in the vicinity of Point Couverden, north of Sitka—Flight 202.

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