Through the Lens: Tour the Coast Guard Cutter Healy

Welcome aboard!

Hitchin’ a ride: AK Air National Guard gives Coast Guard a lift as FOL Deadhorse shutters

Personnel from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, hitched a ride home from Forward Operating Location Deadhorse aboard a C-17 Globemaster III airplane courtesy of the Alaska Air National Guard’s 249th Airlift Squadron Oct. 14, 2015.

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 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.

Flying into the future

It’s pivotal that a rescue crew, whether on the water or in the sky, has the full use of their wits and physical power when it matters most. Utilizing an unmanned system that could potentially spot survivors or wreckage from high in the sky could reduce the time rescue crews spend searching, and ultimately reduce the time that victims spend at the mercy of the elements.

A Coast Guard Cutter Healy tie-down team moves in to secure an Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, MH-60 Jayhawk to the flight deck southwest of Kodiak Island, July 3, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

From air to sea

Forty-one by 40-feet is the size of the flight deck of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a 420-foot polar icebreaker currently deployed to the Arctic. To land a on the cutter, aircrews and deck crews not only have to manage with a ship that moves forward in the water, but also one that moves with the seas.

Coast Guard initiates Arctic Shield 2015

Since 2007, the Coast Guard has purposefully expanded its reach into the Arctic. Arctic Shield consolidates Coast Guard Arctic missions including a year-round focus on educational outreach and improving community, tribal, local and state government relationships. Arctic Shield 2015, which kicked off in June, consists of comprehensive Coast Guard operations to protect the Arctic maritime community.

Here comes the boom

You can’t just walk into Kotzebue. It’s not that easy. The little city is out on the northern tip of Baldwin Peninsula, 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle, where the sun never sets in late June.