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US Coast Guard Deploys Icebreaker on Months-Long Mission to the Arctic

ARCTIC OCEAN – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) is in the ice Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, in the Arctic. (NyxoLyno Cangemi/U.S. Coast Guard)

US Coast Guard Deploys Icebreaker on Months-Long Mission to the Arctic

Josh Guerrlich
Total Views: 3213
July 13, 2023

The U.S. Coast Guard deployed USCGC Healy, a 420-ft medium icebreaker, on a multiple-month mission to the Arctic from Seattle on Tuesday. 

The Healy is set to conduct high-altitude research along with exercises and exchanges with foreign partners in the area. 

The Healy was commissioned in 2000 and has made annual trips to the Arctic for research purposes. 

“We’re excited to begin our Arctic deployment to the high latitudes,” said Capt. Michele Schallip, commanding officer of the Healy. “Our deployment will support scientific exploration to increase understanding of the changing Arctic environment and associated impacts.”

Schallip took command of the Healy back in June after spending time as the ship’s executive officer. 

The Healy helps with Operation Artic Shield, the Coast Guard’s operation to create better awareness and experience in the Arctic, along with building better relationships with partners in the area, in addition to supporting the U.S. Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy.

“We’ll also have opportunities to deepen the Coast Guard’s cooperation with our allies, and partner nations through engagements and joint exercises to promote regional stability, security and strengthen our collaborative partnerships.” said Schallip. 

The Healy’s mission comes as the Coast Guard moves to recapitalize the Polar icebreaker fleet with both economic and national security interests.

Last October, Healy marked its third visit to the North Pole, marking only the second time a U.S. ship has reached the location unaccompanied, having previously achieved the feat in 2015.

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