U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Carrillo, 37, of El Paso, Texas, poses for a photograph, Oct. 7, 2018, approximately 650 north of Barrow, Alaska. Carrillo is a marine science technician stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) and serves as a liaison between the ship's command cadre and a team of scientists conducting research in the arctic. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi.

Out of his native element: El Paso native trades desert sands for Arctic waters

In 2015, Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Carrillo, a marine science technician, stepped off a 420-foot icebreaker and onto the North Pole for the first time. The barren and frigid landscape was vastly different from the desert sands he grew up with more than 4,000 miles away in El Paso, Texas. Due to a bad back, Carrillo deviated from law enforcement to marine science, which eventually led him to join the small community of Arctic blue nose polar bear sailors.


The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) in the ice, Oct. 3, 2018, about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, in the Arctic. The Healy is in the Arctic with a team of about 30 scientists and engineers aboard deploying sensors and autonomous submarines to study stratified ocean dynamics and how environmental factors affect the water below the ice surface for the Office of Naval Research. The Healy, which is homeported in Seattle, is one of two ice breakers in U.S. service and is the only military ship dedicated to conducting research in the Arctic. U.S. Coast Guard photo by NyxoLyno Cangemi.

Coast Guard icebreaker crew completes second 2018 Arctic mission

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy completed their second mission of their Arctic West Summer 2018 deployment Thursday, Oct. 18. Mission 1802 was a scientific mission to study stratified ocean dynamics in the Arctic (SODA) for the Office of Naval Research. Healy is one of two icebreakers in U.S. service that serves American interests in the region helping us better understand, plan and prepare for increased human activity.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Introduction to Operation Deep Freeze 2018

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.


Polar Star

Adm. Michel: Icebreakers are a national security imperative

The icebreaker-focused briefing served as an opportunity for the Vice Commandant to highlight two heavy icebreakers – the nation’s entire inventory of this strategic asset. Only one is operational, the Polar Star, and Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea, the other heavy icebreaker, reached the end of its serviceable life in 2010 having suffered casualties to two main engines.


Below Zero: A red hat for a cold mission

What started as a source of pride aboard the former Coast Guard Cutter Glacier in the mid 1970s, donning a red uniform ball cap, is now part of a right of passage for those who serve aboard icebreakers throughout the Coast Guard.


Below Zero: The art of icebreaking

The process of icebreaking involves more than using the biggest hammer and busting your way through. Even the biggest hammer can be broken if mistakes are made.To some, the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star may seem like a very big hammer to throw at the ice but there’s actually an art to icebreaking.


Below Zero: Overview of Operation Deep Freeze 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.


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