“More Presence Needed in Both Polar Regions, Commandant Said” –Seapower

Original Caption, now outdated.

The Navy League’s on-line edition of their magazine “Seapower” reports on the Commandant’s testimony before Congress on June 23.

As might be expected, there was a pitch for the Polar Security Cutters. I was pleased to see that the Commandant sighted not only a need for greater presence in the Arctic, but also in the Antarctic. Sooner or later, disputed claims will come to the fore there. I don’t think the existing treaty will be continued after its current expiration date, 2048, and we might see conflict before that.

There was also an interesting description of Healy’s next voyage,

“He said the Coast Guard is sending the medium icebreaker USCGC Healy to the Arctic this summer for some scientific research for about 30 days, followed by a transit of the Northwest Passage over the north coast of Canada. Some Canadian researchers, British sailors and others will be on board the Healy for the voyage. Current plans call for a port call in Greenland and then return to Seattle via the Panama Canal.”

There does seem to be a misstatement in the report, probably the reporter confused Dutch and Danish,

“Shultz also pointed out that Coast Guard medium-endurance cutters have exercised with Dutch and French forces in the Arctic region.” 

The exercise was with the Canadian, French, and Danish Forces (and here).

And the Commandant did not stop at recommending three heavy and three medium icebreakers. “… Four to six heavy icebreakers are what we really need, and we need some medium breakers.”

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