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 aircrew, forward deployed to Deadhorse, Alaska, performs maintenance on an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter at the Deadhorse Aviation Center. The aircrew was deployed to the Deadhorse forward operating location in support of Arctic Shield 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert

USCG aircrews from across the US travel to Alaska to assist with Arctic Shield 2015

Spanning more than 4-million square miles along the Alaskan coastline, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak serves as a guardian to Alaskan mariners. With missions ranging from search and rescue to law enforcement, air station crews keep a busy schedule throughout the year. But, as ice in the Arctic recedes, another mission becomes important for the Coast Guard.

As part of Operation Arctic Shield, Air Station Kodiak deployed helicopters and personnel to a forward operating location in Deadhorse. In order to support both their primary missions and Arctic mission, the air station requested additional personnel from Coast Guard units across the United States.