Designing the Coast Guard’s role in the Arctic

The Coast Guard’s missions in the Arctic are evolving with the changing landscape. Six teams of Coast Guard Academy cadets have been working on their capstone projects exploring and designing icebreakers capable of operating in both the Arctic and Great Lakes, as well as applying conceptual understanding of the Arctic domain to build foundational relationships between Arctic nations.


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.


Lt. Cmdr. Jose Tony Mercado, Economic Officer Alexander MacFarlane, Ministry of Transportation General Company for Ports of Iraq Official, Deputy Principal Officer James Merz and Lt. Cmdr. Paul Rudick stand for a photo aboard an Iraqi naval ship. The Iraqi naval ship is one of two ships that took the team out to Khor al-Amaya Oil Terminal offshore terminal. Photo courtesy of Consulate General Basrah.

International Port Security Program: Spotlight Activities Europe

In partnership with the Department of State, the International Port Security Program is on the forefront of American foreign policy collaborating with maritime trading partners to create safer oceans and ports in places one would never think the U.S. Coast Guard would be working in. Lt. Cmdr. Jose Tony Mercado, who completed a tour in the IPS Program Atlantic Area office and recently reported to Activities Europe, has been to more than a few of the places most don’t commonly picture the Coast Guard traveling to and working with, including Cuba, Venezuela, Senegal, and most recently to Iraq.


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.


State of the Coast Guard 2018

Last week, Adm. Zukunft gave his final “State of Coast Guard Address” at the historic National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In his address, Adm. Zukunft used the events of the past year to highlight how each Coast Guard member […]


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.

Operation Deep Freeze: Coast Guard ice captains

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.


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.


Participants of a 10-day joint military bilateral exercise, Gema Bhakti 17 (GB17) take a group photo during the event in Jakarta, Indonesia, September 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Unity in Diversity: Coast Guard lends support to bilateral exercise in Indonesia

Bhinneka tunggal ika, the Indonesian national motto, means “unity in diversity.” This theme resonated with two reservists from Coast Guard Reserve Unit Pacific Command (USPACOM) who traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, in September 2017. Capt. Joanna Hiigel and Cmdr. John Mower traveled halfway around the world to support the 10-day joint military bilateral exercise, Gema Bhakti 17 (GB17). This was the fifth exercise of its kind held between the U.S. and Indonesia’s military, Tentara National Indonesia. It was designed to enhance collaboration and skill in planning a response to a regional crisis, with an emphasis on maritime security.


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