CIMSEC has a post, “DESIGNATE THE 9TH NATIONAL SECURITY CUTTER AN ARCTIC FLAGSHIP,” which suggest essentially two related actions regarding the recently funded ninth Bertholf class National Security Cutter (NSC).
- Homeport it in Kodiak, and
- Ice-strengthen the hull.
As usual, the benefits of cutting transit time by basing ships in Kodiak are overstated because the need to transit south for training and yard period is neglected. Individual training is also easier and less expensive if the ship is located near training facilities.
I find the case for ice strengthening a bit more interesting, but do we really want to redesign a ship that now benefits from the maturity of its design?
The author also touts the advantages of light icebreaking done by an ice-strengthened NSC, perhaps not realizing that icebreaking is already done by 225 foot buoy tenders, four of which are homeported in Alaska, including one in Kodiak.
It really looks like the OPC would be a better choice for homeporting in Alaska, being simpler and already planned to be ice-strengthened, but it is also true that the ninth NSC will be finished at least a couple of years before the first OPC and probably several years before an OPC will be homeported in Kodiak.