San Clemente, Calif., native deploys to the Arctic aboard a Coast Guard Cutter

Seaman Stephen House, a deckhand on the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, stands a bridge watch, Sept. 15, 2012, on the ship in the Arctic Ocean as part of the Coast Guard’s Operation Arctic Shield mission. House is a member of the deck division aboard Bertholf where he stands watch as the boatswain’s mate of the watch, he is a qualified helmsman, is a line handler in every mooring evolution and almost all small boat launching and recovery operations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James Claude

Written by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

Seaman Stephen House, a deckhand 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.

House 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, making sure the decks are secure as well performing lookout and helmsman duties. In addition, he works on the never ending project for his division, fighting rust and metal degradation by grinding, sanding and painting almost all of their surfaces.

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

“I like being up here on the first of the Coast Guard’s newest class of cutters doing something so important,” said House.

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.
For more information about Arctic Shield, please visit: http://www.uscg.mil/d17/Arctic%20Shield%202012.asp 

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