Honolulu native patrols Arctic Ocean

Seaman Leon Chingcuangco of the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf is part of the helicopter tiedown crew on the cutter that is responsible for securing the aircraft to the flight deck as well as preparing it for launch over the Arctic Ocean, Sept. 1, 2012. Bertholf is currently sailing with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Los Angeles. Both units are taking part in the Arctic Shield 2012 mission that will allow the Coast Guard to access its capabilities in the Arctic region. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

Seaman Leon Chingcuangco, a seaman on the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, deployed Aug. 21 with the ship to the Arctic Ocean as part of the Coast Guard’s Operation Arctic Shield mission.

Chingcuangco is a member of the deck division aboard Bertholf and is a line handler in every mooring evolution and almost all small boat launching and recovery operations. On the bridge, he stands watch as the Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch ensuring the decks are secure as well as performing lookout and helmsman duties. He also secures helicopters on deck as part of the helicopter tiedown team. He also works on a never ending project for his division; fighting rust and metal degradation by grinding, sanding and painting almost all of their surfaces.

His collateral duties include teaching Sunday Protestant services as one of the ship’s lay leaders as well as sitting as a member of our Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council.

Operation Arctic Shield 2012 will give the Coast Guard and Bertholf an opportunity to test capabilities to ensure the right resources are available to conduct maritime safety and security operations in the region.

“Arctic Shield is a first for the national security cutters in the Coast Guard and I feel very fortunate to be part of this pioneering venture,” said Chingcuangco. “This is possibly the only time that I’ll ever be this far north and to be able to do it so early in my career is a great blessing.”

In U.S. waters, the Coast Guard has a responsibility to conduct its 11 statutory missions. During Operation Arctic Shield it will focus on: ports, waterways and coastal security; search and rescue; aids to navigation; living marine resources; marine safety; defense readiness; marine environmental protection; ice operations and law enforcement.

The Coast Guard is the nation’s lead federal agency for ensuring maritime safety, security and stewardship and will be a leader in the advancement of U.S. national interests in the Arctic maritime domain.

It is dedicated to ensuring the protection of the Arctic maritime environment and of all those who depend upon it.

The Coast Guard has a long and proud history of working in Alaska dating back to the Revenue Cutter Service as late as the 1860’s. Alaska Native partners are a vital part of Operation Arctic Shield and the Coast Guard values their knowledge and expertise to reach common goals.

For more imagery from Arctic Shield 2012, please visit www.cgvi.uscg.mil.

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