Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. Charles Michel testified on Arctic operations before a joint subcommittee hearing held today that included the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats and the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, both with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Passing over vast regions never seen by the human eye, discovering new landforms, exploring unknown and un-mapped areas of the Russian arctic in an Indian Jones-style adventure in 1931, Lt. Cmdr. Edward “Iceberg” Smith proved that polar exploration could be accomplished safely and comfortably with the aid of airship technology such as the Graf Zeppelin.
This Weekend is the final post for the Week in the life of the Coast Guard 2014 series. We hope you enjoyed seeing and reading about your Coast Guard in action, as well as a typical week for us. What did you learn about the Coast Guard this week? What would like to know more about? You may contact us through Facebook or email us as well. We appreciate it!
Thursday’s week in the life of the Coast Guard 2014 features the Cutter Kukui from Hawaii, family day on the Delaware River, an unmanned Arctic flight from the Cutter Healy, dirty work in Newport, Oregon, and quick fixes at Base Honolulu.
A team of scientists from the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, New London, Connecticut, is currently underway aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy for a series of technology evaluations in the Arctic. The team departed Seward, Alaska, August 8 and is currently conducting operations off the North Slope.
The 24 hours of sunlight, enormous marine mammals and vast emptiness create an environment unlike any in the world. It’s no surprise, then, that the melting ice is enticing adventure seekers to experience the untouched frontier. As vessel traffic increases, so does the chance for an accident in this inherently dangerous maritime region. It’s the inevitability of peril that drives many Coast Guard missions, and those missions extend all the way into the Nation’s Arctic. When an adventure on the Chukchi Sea took a turn for the worse, the Coast Guard was ready to respond.
Today, Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger testified on implementing U.S. policy in the Arctic before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. The Vice Commandant led his opening statement by sharing his personal experience with Coast Guard operations in the Arctic; experiences that have shaped his understanding of the service’s role as the nation’s lead federal agency for ensuring maritime safety and security in the region.
Crewmembers aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy recently supported scientific research in the Arctic’s dynamic waters. As the crew supported vital scientific research, they were joined by a multitude of scientists and support staff from the National Intelligence University, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Air Force, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of Alaska.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star was released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority from search and rescue duties Jan. 7, following confirmation the Russian-Flagged Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese-Flagged Xue Long are free from the Antarctic ice due to a favorable change in wind conditions. The Coast Guard Pacific Area command center received confirmation from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority at 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time that both ships broke through the heavy ice, rendering assistance from the Polar Star no longer necessary.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star is responding to a Jan. 3rd request from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA, to assist the Russian-Flagged Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese-Flagged Xue Long that are reportedly ice-bound in the Antarctic. The Russian and Chinese Governments have also requested assistance from the United States.