Petty Officer 1st Class Jared Bohler, a marine science technician with Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa, checks lifejacket serviceability aboard the 190-foot U.S.-flagged tuna purse seiner Raffaello during a deficiency check, Oct. 23, 2017. The Raffaello suffered a fire more than two years ago and has been effecting repairs monitored by the MSD personnel. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir.

The Coast Guard, 14 degrees south of the equator

The crew of Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa consists of two officers, a first class petty officer, and a GS-12 civilian who conduct about 50 vessel exams consisting mostly of commercial fishing vessels and 25 to 30 investigations varying from pollution to marine causalities annually. While tours are short, around one year, on the island, the crews work to build strong relationships with the communities through boating and safety education as well as participating in community events.


U.S. Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadets Ainsley Fruhwirth and Zoe Bolling show off their capstone project that works to give mariners a current location of right whales in their area using technology. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

The right whale to save

The Coast Guard’s legacy of environmental protection dates back to the late 1800s with the signing of the Fur Seal Act of 1897, charging the Coast Guard with the vital role of enforcing natural resource laws. Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadets Ainsley Fruhwirth and Zoe Bolling, both marine science majors, have spent the last two years working on saving the right whales as part of their capstone research project.


Petty Officer 3rd Class Jennifer Crocker stands for a photo upon receiving the International Ice Patrol's Enlisted Person of the Year award in New London, Conn. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: MST3 Jennifer Crocker

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jennifer Crocker, a marine science technician at the International Ice Patrol unit in New London, Connecticut, serves as a role model to her peers through dedication, leadership and professionalism. Crocker was recently named the IIP’s Enlisted Person of the Year for her outstanding representation of the service to local schools as well as coordinating memorials for several historically significant events.


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.

Operation Deep Freeze: Arrival to McMurdo

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.


Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 helicopter crew and Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak pollution responders conduct an overflight in response to an oil spill in Shuyak Strait, 49 miles north of Kodiak, Alaska, Feb. 27, 2018. The Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation established a unified command in response to the oil spill as part of the service’s marine environmental protection mission. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Detection, Mitigation of Oil within the Water Column

As part of the Coast Guard’s marine environmental protection mission, the Research and Development Center recently completed a project to identify and prototype technologies capable of detecting and mitigating the impacts of oil in the water column that show promise for future commercialization and implementation.


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.

Operation Deep Freeze: Beneath the surface

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.


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.

Operation Deep Freeze: Ice pilots

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.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick

Less than a year has passed since the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick took to the sea and traveled 6,200 miles from Key West, Florida, to its homeport of Ketchikan, Alaska. Despite the long trip and drastic change of climate, the crew’s performance remained intact. This resilience was recognized by the Douglas Munro Chapter of the Surface Navy Association that awarded the crew of the cutter John McCormick with the 2017 Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (small cutter).


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.

Operation Deep Freeze: A military operation

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.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Maritime Safety and Security Team Miami

The summer and fall of 2017 saw a nearly unprecedented string of hurricanes impacting the southeastern United States. As always, of course, Coast Guard units responded to every storm, providing rescue, recovery, and security assistance in areas that had been ravaged by extreme weather. For Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) Miami in particular, it was a uniquely trying time in which personnel truly distinguished themselves through their perseverance and dedication: five weeks, three storm responses, an evacuation of their own homes, and a unit that came together through a difficult period to accomplish diverse missions and take care of their fellow Coast Guard members.


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