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Operation Deep Freeze: An aging ship

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonny Walker, a marine science technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, uses a lathe to fabricate a brass bushing for the ship’s propulsion machinery, Jan. 16, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star was on deployment to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Polar Star’s engineering department ensures the ship’s mechanical and electrical equipment is working properly, but the harsh conditions of Antarctica provide many challenges for the aging ship, which has been around longer than many of its crew members.

Operation Deep Freeze: Arrival to McMurdo

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star sits moored at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Jan. 19, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star was on deployment to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star’s commanding officer gives insight on what made the Operation Deep Freeze 2018 mission a success. Through dedication and devotion to duty, the crew once again accomplished their mission breaking ice and creating a navigable channel through the Antarctic to National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station.

Operation Deep Freeze: Coast Guard ice captains

Monday, March 5, 2018

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Michael Davanzo poses for a photo aboard Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star during a deployment to Antarctica, Jan. 22, 2018. Davanzo is the commanding officer of Polar Star who is held responsible for leading the expedition and ensuring mission success. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Coast Guard Polar Star’s leader, Capt. Michael Davanzo, ensures his crew’s proficiency at navigating through the ice of Antarctica. Having that knowledge bequeathed from crew to crew allows the mission to continue for years to come. As the Antarctic landscape once again freezes over, Coast Guard ice captains will be there to lead the expedition and ensure mission success.

Operation Deep Freeze: Beneath the surface

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

U.S. Coast Guard divers prepare to go below the surface to inspect Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star for any damages done in the harsh Antarctic conditions. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

Deploying to the most remote continent on Earth requires a ship to be self-sufficient. If an underwater issue arises, it’s necessary to have skilled divers who can inspect the problem and make a report to the command. It’s for this reason the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star embarks a Coast Guard Dive Team for its annual deployment to Antarctica.

Operation Deep Freeze: Ice pilots

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Hëyob, a boatswain’s mate and ice pilot, navigates Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star through ice during Operation Deep Freeze 2018, Jan. 31, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star is only one of two cutters in the service with qualified ice pilots aboard. Ice pilots are responsible for navigating the ship through different types of ice. On their way to Antarctica, ice pilots will first negotiate pack ice—large pieces of floating ice—before reaching the fast ice, which extends out from the shore and is attached to it.

Operation Deep Freeze: A military operation

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star breaks ice in McMurdo Sound near Antarctica, Jan. 10, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star is on its way to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The capabilities of the United States military can assist scientific researchers discover more about our planet. One peacetime mission assisting in that realm is Operation Deep Freeze. Operation Deep Freeze is one of the military’s most challenging peacetime missions, as the environment in which the mission is conducted is harsh. Negotiating the frozen seas of the Antarctic region requires specialized equipment and skills, which is where the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star comes in.

Introduction to Operation Deep Freeze 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star reached the edge of the ice surrounding Antarctica approximately 15-miles north of the U.S. National Science Foundation's McMurdo station, January 8, 2018. The crew will attempt break through the 15-mile stretch of sea ice in McMurdo Sound, sometimes as much as 10 feet in thickness, to resupply the NSF research facilities there during Operation Deep Freeze. ODF is the U.S. military's contribution to the NSF-managed, civilian U.S. Antarctic Program, and one of the most difficult U.S. military peacetime missions due to the harsh environment in which it is conducted. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Ensign Christopher Popiel.

The Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, the United States’ only heavy icebreaker has commenced its annual Operation Deep Freeze in contribution to the National Science Foundation (NSF)-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. The Polar Star’s job is to forcibly clear a path through frozen waters for supply ships headed to Antarctica’s logistics hub, McMurdo Station.

Below Zero: Overview of Operation Deep Freeze 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

At the start of the new year, crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star found themselves on the other side of the world, headed to one of the least hospitable places on Earth, Antarctica. Polar Star’s primary mission is to enable cargo ships to resupply the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole stations on the southernmost continent.

2016 Video of the Year: Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star Operation Deep Freeze

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The ninth nominee is a time-lapse video showing Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star transiting through sea ice shortly after crossing the Antarctic Circle, and then breaking ice in Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2016. Is this the top video for the year? Cast your vote!

U.S. icebreaker completes Antarctica operation despite engineering challenges

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star breaks ice in McMurdo Sound near Antarctica, Jan. 13, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star is on deployment to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star completed their mission in support of National Science Foundation (NSF) after cutting a resupply channel through 15 miles of Antarctic ice in the Ross Sea and escorting supply vessels to the continent. Despite flooding in the engine room and one of the three turbines failing, the crew was able to continue and complete their mission in the ice to allow resupply ships to get to McMurdo Station.

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