“Media Advisory: Coast Guard cutter to return home following 97-day multi-mission Arctic deployment” –PACAREA

U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Stratton (WMSL 752) and Kimball (WMSL 756) steam in formation while patrolling the U.S.-Russian Maritime Boundary Line (MBL), in the Bering Sea, Sept. 26, 2022. This marked the first time two national security cutters jointly patrolled the MBL above the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo).

This isn’t like the Alaska Patrols I went on, which concentrated on the Aleutians/Bering Sea and never went much North of the Arctic Circle. This patrol went across the top of Alaska and apparently, this is getting to be more common.

Media Advisory

Nov. 22, 2022
U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area

Media Advisory: Coast Guard cutter to return home following 97-day multi-mission Arctic deployment

Coast Guard cutter returns home following 97-day multi-mission Arctic deployment

USCGC Stratton conducts operations offshore Little Diomede, Alaska Coast Guard cutter returns home following 97-day multi-mission Arctic deployment USCGC Stratton conducts flight operations while underway in Arctic Ocean

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

Who: U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) and crew

What: Return home from multi-mission Arctic deployment

When: Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022 at 9 a.m.

Where: Coast Guard Base Alameda, 1 Eagle Rd., Alameda, CA, 94501

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) and crew are scheduled to return to Alameda, Wednesday, following a 97-day multi-mission deployment to the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea.

The cutter and crew departed Alameda in August to project U.S. sovereignty throughout U.S. Arctic waters, provide search-and-rescue capabilities in the region, meet with Alaskan communities and conduct an Arctic search-and-rescue exercise with international partners.

Stratton operated along the length of the U.S.-Russian maritime boundary line (MBL) from the Diomede Islands to well above the Arctic Circle, while they patrolled within the U.S. Arctic zone. Stratton also patrolled the U.S.- Canadian MBL in the Beaufort Sea, providing Coast Guard presence in the distant regions of the Arctic.

“I’m extremely proud of this crew and all they have accomplished,” said Capt. Stephen Adler, Stratton’s commanding officer. “The U.S. Coast Guard provides the Nation’s most active and visible maritime presence in the high latitudes, and coordinates with our international partners through joint exercises and professional exchanges to maintain a safe and prosperous Arctic region. The Coast Guard remains ‘Always Ready’ to preserve and protect our northern shores and waters. As more ships and people move into the Arctic, the Coast Guard will be there to ensure safety of navigation and preserve our national sovereignty, as it always has. The crew has truly lived up to our ship’s motto of, ‘We Can’t Afford Not To’ throughout our patrol.”

Stratton is one of four 418-foot national security cutters (NSC) homeported in Alameda. National security cutters are capable of extended, worldwide deployment in support of homeland security and defense missions. These cutters and crews routinely conduct operations from South America to the Arctic, where the combination of range, speed, and ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility necessary to conduct vital strategic missions.

Media are encouraged to contact Coast Guard Pacific Area Public Affairs at pacificareapublicaffairs@uscg.mil to arrange an escort on Base Alameda to attend the ship’s arrival. Adler and crew will be available for interviews following the ship’s arrival.

Coast Guard Cutter Kimball encounters Russia and People’s Republic of China military naval presence in Bering Sea” –D17

A Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crewmember observing a foreign vessel in the Bering Sea, September 19, 2022. (I believe it is a Russian Udaloy class destroyer–Chuck)
The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew on a routine patrol in the Bering Sea encountered a People’s Republic of China Guided Missile Cruiser, Renhai CG 101, sailing approximately 75 nautical miles north of Kiska Island, Alaska.

Below is a District 17 news release (HQ Juneau). The Chinese cruiser referred to is a Type 055, NATO designation Renhai class. The USN considers it a cruiser, but it is considered by many a large destroyer.

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska

Coast Guard Cutter Kimball encounters Russia and People’s Republic of China military naval presence in Bering Sea

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew on a routine patrol in the Bering Sea encountered a People’s Republic of China Guided Missile Cruiser, Renhai CG 101, sailing approximately 75 nautical miles north of Kiska Island, Alaska, September 19, 2022.

The Kimball crew later identified two more Chinese naval vessels and four Russian naval vessels, including a Russian Federation Navy destroyer, all in a single formation with the Renhai as a combined surface action group operating in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). 

As a result, the Kimball crew is now operating under Operation Frontier Sentinel, a Seventeenth Coast Guard District operation designed to meet presence with presence when strategic competitors operate in and around U.S. waters. The U.S Coast Guard’s presence strengthens the international rules-based order and promotes the conduct of operations in a manner that follows international norms. While the surface action group was temporary in nature, and Kimball observed it disperse, the Kimball will continue to monitor activities in the U.S. EEZ to ensure the safety of U.S. vessels and international commerce in the area. A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules air crew provided support to the Kimball’s Operation Frontier Sentinel activities.    

In September 2021, Coast Guard cutters deployed to the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean also encountered Chinese naval vessels, including a surface action group transiting approximately 50 miles off the Aleutian Island chain. 

 “While the formation has operated in accordance with international rules and norms,” said Rear Adm. Nathan Moore, Seventeenth Coast Guard District commander, “we will meet presence-with-presence to ensure there are no disruptions to U.S. interests in the maritime environment around Alaska.”

 Kimball is a 418-foot legend-class national security cutter homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“Coast Guard, North Slope Borough Search and Rescue to conduct exercise near Utqiagvik, Alaska” –D17

Utqiagvik, the city formally know as Barrow, AK (File photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

This may look like a routine announcement, but I found it interesting because of where it is, and the fact that it will include “Coast Guard helicopters, and Coast Guard cutters” –both plural. Utqiagvik, Alaska, formerly Barrow, is the Northern most city in Alaska, 71°17′26″N, 284 nautical miles above the Arctic Circle. The helicopters will probably come with the cutters (maybe not?), but what cutters? USCGC Healy, an icebreaker, seems likely, but there has got to be at least one more. Maybe Alex Haley, out of Kodiak, or a Bertholf class NSC on Alaska Patrol?

Hopefully we will hear more.

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska

Coast Guard, North Slope Borough Search and Rescue to conduct exercise near Utqiagvik, Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska – The 17th Coast Guard District and North Slope Borough Search and Rescue are scheduled to conduct an exercise near Utqiagvik, Alaska, August 31, 2022 through September 3, 2022.

The exercise is a small-scale search and rescue mission offshore of Utqiagvik named Operation Itqanaiyaq, meaning Get Ready or Get Prepared in Iñupiaq. The purpose of the exercise is for the Coast Guard and North Slope Borough Search and Rescue to practice procedures for maritime distress response.

The public will notice an increase in emergency responder and military presence in the vicinity of Utquiagvik during the exercise dates. The increased presence will consist of Coast Guard helicopters, and Coast Guard cutters.

“This search and rescue exercise provides a great opportunity for the Coast Guard to train alongside the North Slope Borough in an Arctic environment,” said Lt. Lindsay Wheeler from the 17th Coast Guard District. “We never know when we will need to respond with our aerial or surface assets to help find and rescue missing or injured people.”

“Coast Guard teams to deploy for summer operations in Kotzebue, Alaska” –D17

Northwest Arctic Borough Alaska incorporated and unincorporated areas Kotzebue highlighted. From Wikipedia by Rcsprinter123

Below is a D17 news release reporting deployments to Kotzebue, AK. Thought you might want to know where that is.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew, deployed to forward operating location Kotzebue, Alaska, conducts a pre-flight brief before flying a mission to Point Lay, July 13, 2017. FOL Kotzebue houses two Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and crews in support of Operation Arctic Shield. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Brian Dykens.

This is not the first time helicopters have heen deployed to Kotzebue, here and here. If this follows the previous pattern, the deployment will last until about the end of October.

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska

Coast Guard teams to deploy for summer operations in Kotzebue, Alaska

Coast Guard Marine Safety Task Force conducts inspections during 2021 season  Coast Guard FOL Kotzebue Operations

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Coast Guard teams to deploy to Kotzebue, Alaska, in support of 2022 summer operations. 

Members of Sector Anchorage’s Marine Safety Task Force (MSTF) will be in the region July 6-16, 2022, for a multi-mission deployment focused primarily on facility inspections. 

“Facility inspections help mitigate the potential for oil pollution in the region,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Houvener, a marine science technician and team lead. “These facilities are crucial for providing oil to warm homes during winter months. Alaska experiences harsh environmental conditions, so it’s important to inspect the safety and integrity of such waterside facilities to decrease the risk of an oil spill.”

Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak crews are also scheduled to open a seasonal forward-operating location for aircraft mid-July in Kotzebue to reduce response time to the Bering Strait and Northern Slope regions in anticipation of historically increased maritime activity there. 

The use of forward operating locations in Alaska helps the service make the best strategic use of limited resources.

“Coast Guard accepts delivery of 49th Fast Response Cutter Douglas Denman” –D17 Press Release

The Coast Guard accepts delivery of 49th Fast Response Cutter Douglas Denman, in Key West, Florida, May 26, 2022. The cutter will be homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Below is a press release reporting the acceptance of the 49th Webber class Fast Response Cutter. (There is an error in that this is reported to be the “24th Fast Response Cutter built by Bollinger Shipyards” while all 49 have been built by Bollinger)

This will be the third FRC based in Ketchikan. Normally I would simply add this news as a comment on a previous post, but there is news here that I had not picked up on previously.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which included a $130 million increase for two additional FRCs, continuing the program beyond its 64-vessel program of record. This is the second time Congress has added FRCs beyond the original 58 vessel program of record.

Bollinger typically delivers five FRCs a year, so we can expect the 17 additional FRCs to be delivered for over the next three and a half years.

The additional cutters now make it almost certain we will see FRCs based in America Samoa. Additionally we may see them in a second additional new Western Pacific base.

Photo Release

U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska

Coast Guard accepts delivery of 49th Fast Response Cutter Douglas Denman

The Coast Guard accepts delivery of 49th Fast Response Cutter Douglas Denman, in Key West, Florida, May 26, 2022. The cutter will be homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard accepts delivery of the 49th Fast Response Cutter Douglas Denman, in Key West, Florida, May 26, 2022, alongside the Denman family. The cutter will be homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

 KEY WEST, Fla. — The Coast Guard accepted the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Denman (WPC 1149), the 24th Fast Response Cutter built by Bollinger Shipyards, during a May 26 ceremony at Coast Guard Sector Key West.

“We were honored to have Douglas Denman’s son, Doug Jr. and daughter, Karen there for the momentous occasion,” said Lt. Paul Kang, commanding officer of the cutter. “In addition to that, two of Douglas Denman’s granddaughters drove down from Georgia with their families.”

The cutter, which is 154-feet long and has a crew complement of 24, will be homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska.

The Douglas Denman is scheduled for commissioning in September in Ketchikan. It is the third Fast Response Cutter to be stationed in the Coast Guard’s 17th Coast Guard District, which covers the state of Alaska and the North Pacific. The Denman will join the John McCormick (WPC 1121) and the Bailey Barco (WPC 1122), which arrived in Alaska in 2016 and 2017.

Born in Tallapoosa, Georgia, the cutter’s namesake joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1940 and was eventually assigned as a coxswain to the USS Colhoun (DD-85), a Wickes-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy during World War I and later re-designated APD-2 in World War II. On Aug. 30, 1942, the Colhoun was positioned off the coast of Guadalcanal when it was attacked by hostile aircraft. Denman was seriously wounded during the attack but remained at his duty station. When the order was given to abandon ship, Denman and another crew member helped evacuate the crew and get life jackets to those already in the water. Because of Denman’s selfless actions, 100 of the 150 officers and staff survived the attack and sinking of Colhoun. Denman received the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals for his heroic efforts. He served for 20 years in the Coast Guard, retiring as a senior chief petty officer in 1961.

The Fast Response Cutter is replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats and features advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance equipment, and an over-the-horizon cutter boat. The cutter features advanced seakeeping capabilities and can achieve more than 32 mph (28 knots). The cutter has an endurance of five days. The Coast Guard is in the middle of the FRC acquisition program.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which included a $130 million increase for two additional FRCs, continuing the program beyond its 64-vessel program of record. This is the second time Congress has added FRCs beyond the original 58 vessel program of record.

Douglas Denman is designed for multiple missions, including law enforcement, fisheries enforcement, waterways and coastal security, search and rescue, and national defense.

For more information about this cutter, please contact 17th District Public Affairs at D17-DG-PublicAffairs@uscg.mil or Douglas Denman’s executive officer at Alicen.T.Re@uscg.mil.

Coast Guard Lt. Paul Kang, commanding officer of Cutter Douglas Denman, accepts delivery of the 49th Fast Response Cutter Douglas Denman, in Key West, Florida, May 26, 2022. The cutter will be homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

“Coast Guard Cutter Cypress arrives in Kodiak, replaces SPAR”

Progress on the WLB In Service Vessel Sustainment Program.

united states coast guard

News Release  U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska

 

Coast Guard Cutter Cypress arrives in Kodiak, replaces SPAR

A view of the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress is pictured as the vessel's crew transits from Los Angeles, California, to the ship's new homeport in Kodiak, Alaska, Nov. 12, 2021. The Cypress crew transited over 7,600 nautical miles south along the east coast of the United States through the Caribbean and Panama Canal, and North along the west coast of the United States through the Alaskan Inside Passage and to the vessel's new homeport. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda Harris.
A view of the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress is pictured as the vessel’s crew transits from Los Angeles, California, to the ship’s new homeport in Kodiak, Alaska, Nov. 12, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda Harris.
The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress deck department stands on the buoy deck while the vessel transits from Los Angeles, California, to the ship's new homeport in Kodiak, Alaska, Oct. 19, 2021. The Cypress will be filling the role of the “Aleutian Keeper,” replacing the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR as the 225-foot Juniper Class Buoy Tender and will be responsible for servicing aids throughout Kodiak Island and the Aleutian chain. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda Harris.
The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress deck department stands on the buoy deck while the vessel transits from Los Angeles, California, to the ship’s new homeport in Kodiak, Alaska, Oct. 19, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda Harris.

KODIAK, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Cypress crew arrived in Kodiak, Sunday, after transiting from the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland, upon completion of the ship’s Major Maintenance Availability (MMA).

The Cypress crew transited over 7,600 nautical miles south along the east coast of the United States through the Caribbean and Panama Canal, and North along the west coast of the United States through the Alaskan Inside Passage to their new homeport at Coast Guard Base Kodiak.

The crew began preparing the Cypress for her maiden voyage to Alaska in August and will be returning to Kodiak after four months away from home.

The Cypress will be filling the role of the “Aleutian Keeper,” replacing the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR as the 225-foot Juniper Class Buoy Tender, and will be responsible for servicing aids throughout Kodiak Island and the Aleutian chain. SPAR departed Kodiak in January 2021, entered MMA in February 2021, and will be re-homeported in Duluth, Minnesota at the completion of the MMA.

Commissioned in 2001, the Cypress was stationed in Mobile, Alabama, and subsequently re-homeported to Pensacola, Florida, as the “Strong Arm of the Gulf,” servicing aids to navigation along 900 miles of coastline, stretching from Apalachicola, Florida, to the border of Mexico. The Cypress crew aided in hurricane recovery operations after Ivan, Katrina, and Rita, recovering and re-establishing buoys that hurricanes had moved up to 24 miles off station.

In 2004, the Cypress crew successfully recovered a sunken 38,000 lb. “Blue Angels” F/A-18A Hornet from 40 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico after a training accident. The Cypress crew had served thereafter as the center point for the annual Blue Angels’ air show at Pensacola Beach until her arrival at the Coast Guard Yard for MMA in August of 2020. In 2010, the Cypress crew responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacting the Gulf of Mexico, conducting oil recovery operations with specialized oil recovery equipment alongside sister ships Juniper, Walnut, Sycamore, Aspen, Oak and Elm, together recovering over 500,000 gallons of spilled oil and coordinating environmental cleanup activities between numerous federal, state, local, and private entities.

During her 34-day-long transit, the Cypress crew made port calls in Mayport, Florida, Key West, Florida, Long Beach, California, and Ketchikan, Alaska. The Cypress crew took full advantage of the long transit time to conduct damage control training, small boat training, engineering and navigation drills, and worked to build watch proficiency leading to 63 individual qualifications.

The Cypress crew looks forward to returning home to their families, serving their local Alaska community, and returning to the important work of servicing aids to navigation that support the Maritime Transportation System vital to Alaska’s robust maritime economy.

“Coast Guard Cutter Kimball returns to homeport after patrol in Bering Sea and Arctic” –D14

The crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) and the USS Tulsa (LCS 16) conduct a passing exercise in the Pacific, April 3, 2021. The Kimball was underway conducting an expeditionary patrol which covered approximately 20,000 nautical miles. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball)

USCGC Kimball seems to have had an unusual ALPAT (Alaska Patrol). They got up into the Chukchi Sea North of the Bering Strait that separates Alaska from Russian Siberia, interacted with vessels of our Canadian and Japanese allies, and shadowed Chinese warships transiting in the US EEZ off the Aleutians.

It may seem odd sending a Hawaii based cutter to Alaska, but Oahu is almost exactly due South of Kodiak. It is only about 520 nautical miles further away than Alameda, the only other Pacific base for Bertholf class cutters.

united states coast guard

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 14th District Hawaii and the Pacific
Contact: 14th District Public Affairs
Office: (808) 535-3230

Coast Guard Cutter Kimball returns to homeport after patrol in Bering Sea and Arctic

Kimball

Editors’ Note: Click on stock image to download a high-resolution version.

JUNEAU, Alaska – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Kimball returned to homeport in Honolulu, Hawaii Thursday following a 66-day patrol in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.

The crew traveled nearly 13,000 nautical miles since departing Honolulu Aug. 21, including through the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. With Arctic sea ice melting, these distant travels are important in helping the U.S. Coast Guard conduct a range of operations in the high latitudes as fish stocks and maritime traffic moves north.

The Kimball crew conducted 18 targeted living marine resources boardings; the most a national security cutter has completed during a single patrol in the 17th District area of responsibility.

“These law enforcement boardings maximized our presence in the Bering Sea,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Samuel Cintron, Kimball lead law enforcement petty officer. “Each boarding team member was instrumental to the success of the operation and reinforced the Coast Guard’s position on protecting national security and domestic fisheries.”

More than 65 percent of fish caught in the United States is harvested from Alaskan waters, generating more than $13.9 billion annually.

The Kimball crew conducted at-sea drills with key maritime partners including the Royal Canadian Naval Ship Harry DeWolf and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force training vessel Kashima. In each instance, the ships operated alongside one another and exchanged visual communications, followed by honors. This display of maritime cooperation and mutual respect emphasizes the United States’, Canada’s, and Japan’s continued commitment to one another and to partnership at sea.

During the deployment, Kimball crew observed four ships from the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) operating as close as 46 miles off the Aleutian Island coast. While the PLAN ships were within the U.S. exclusive economic zone, they followed international laws and norms and at no point entered U.S. territorial waters. All interactions between the Kimball and PLAN were in accordance with international standards set forth in the Western Pacific Naval Symposium’s Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea and Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

The Kimball crew conducted astern refueling at sea with Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry, a fast response cutter also homeported in Honolulu. This capability significantly extends the operational range of FRCs.

Commissioned in 2019, Kimball is the Coast Guard’s seventh national security cutter.  These assets are 418-feet-long, 54-feet-wide and have a displacement of 4,600 long-tons. With a range of 13,000 nautical miles, the advanced technologies of this class are designed to support the national objective to maintain the security of America’s maritime boundaries and provide long range search and rescue capabilities.

For breaking news follow us on twitter @USCGHawaiiPac

“GA-ASI Flies MQ-9 in the Canadian Arctic” –Seapower

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ MQ-9A “Big Wing” UAS flew in the hostile climate of the Canadian Arctic. GA-ASI

The Navy League’s Seapower website reports,

 In a flight that originated from its Flight Test and Training Center (FTTC) near Grand Forks, North Dakota, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew a company-owned MQ-9A “Big Wing” configured unmanned aircraft system north through Canadian airspace past the 78th parallel, the company said in a Sept. 10 release.

A traditional limitation of long-endurance UAS has been their inability to operate at extreme northern (and southern) latitudes, as many legacy SATCOM datalinks can become less reliable above the Arctic (or below the Antarctic) Circle – approximately 66 degrees north. At those latitudes, the low-look angle to geostationary Ku-band satellites begins to compromise the link. GA-ASI has demonstrated a new capability for effective ISR operations by performing a loiter at 78.31° North, using Inmarsat’s L-band Airborne ISR Service (LAISR).

The 78th parallel lies more than 1200 nautical miles North of Kodiak. Getting any kind of air recon that far north, other than perhaps icebreaker based helicopters, has always been difficult.

Even our icebreakers have difficulty communicating. Satellite coverage at these high latitudes is spotty at best.

The ability to operate UAS in this environment could substantially improve our Polar Domain Awareness and serve as a communications relay for multiunit operations in the Arctic or Antarctic.

The high altitude capability of these aircraft also provides a far larger view than would be possible from a helicopters. The horizon distance from 45,000 feet is about 250 nautical miles.

“U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation meet in Anchorage” –D17

Just passing this along.

united states coast guard

 

 

Photo Release

U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation meet in Anchorage

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard host members of the Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation for the 43rd Joint Planning Group meeting and exercise, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, in Anchorage, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard representatives worked with their Russian counterparts during the event, held under the 2020 Joint Contingency Plan between the U.S. and Russia, for pollution preparedness and response cooperation in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn)

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation held their 43rd joint planning group meeting and exercise Aug. 31-Sept. 2 in Anchorage under the 2020 Joint Contingency Plan of the United States of America and the Russian Federation in Combating Pollution on the Bering Sea and Chukchi Seas.

U.S. Coast Guard representatives from Headquarters, Pacific Area, the 17th District and Sector Anchorage worked with their Russian Marine Rescue Service counterparts to review the Joint Contingency Plan and update a 2021-2023 joint work plan for improving preparedness and cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation in spill response in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.

The purpose of this joint work plan is to:

  • Implement the Joint Contingency Plan (JCP) of the United States and the Russian Federation on combating pollution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas in Emergency Situations.
  • Develop sustainable infrastructures for marine environmental protection and response to oil and hazardous substance incidents.
  • Develop greater cooperation and understanding between the United States and the Russian Federation; specifically, between the responsible government agencies and private sector entities that take part in response to oil and hazardous substance incidents.
  • Develop methods and techniques for preparedness and response to oil and hazardous substance incidents.
  • Encourage compatibility of response systems in terms of command-and-control techniques, equipment, training, exercises and related preparedness and response issues.
  • Maintain a two-year work plan cycle to permit efficient planning for budget and personnel scheduling. Identify and address risks associated with the shipment of hydrocarbons across or near the shared maritime boundaries.
  • Maintain an up-to-date training and exercise schedule.
  • Identify topics and initiatives for discussion during joint planning group meetings and teleconferences.

The group toured the Alaska Wildlife Response/International Bird Rescue Center and observed an equipment demonstration at Alaska Chadux Network to learn more about response systems and capabilities.

“Meeting our Russian counterparts face-to-face and exchanging information strengthens our shared commitment to environmental protection,” said Rear Adm. Nathan A. Moore, commander 17th District. “The U.S.-Russia maritime boundary is adjacent to heavily-traveled routes for ships carrying hydrocarbons. I rest a bit easier at night knowing that we have developed working relationships with our neighbors and are preparing ahead of time for a pollution incident that we hope does not occur.”

Rear Adm. Nathan A. Moore, commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District, welcomes Mr. Petr Gerasun, deputy director, Russian Federation Marine Rescue Service, to the 43rd Joint Planning Group meeting at Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, August 31, 2021. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and Russian Federation delegation participated in the 43rd Joint Planning Group meeting for pollution preparedness and response cooperation in the Bering Sea and Chukchi Seas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn)

Barbara Callahan, senior director of response services with International Bird Rescue, gives a tour and discusses the wildlife response and rehabilitation process to the 43rd Joint Planning Group at the Alaska Wildlife Response Center in Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 1, 2021. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and Russian Federation participated in the 43rd Joint Planning Group meeting for pollution preparedness and response cooperation in spill response in the Bering Sea and Chukchi Seas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa E. McKenzie)