This map show the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) within the Arctic: Canada (purple), Greenland (orange), Iceland (green), Norway (turquoise), Russia (light blue), and USA (dark blue). As sea ice reduces there will be more opportunity for ice to drift from one EEZ to another, which has implications for the potential spread of pollutants.
Credit: DeRepentigny et al., 2020
NORTHCOM’s on-line magazine, The Watch, has a short post about the Arctic.
I would note that most of the discussion centers on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, whereas the Coast Guard concentration has primarily been on the Pacific side. We have seen some indications there may be Coast Guard Arctic capable assets on the Atlantic side in the future. Not too early to think about that.
The Coast Guard has had good relations with the Russians in the Arctic because of a common interest in fisheries, SAR, and environmental protection. That is all to the good. At some future date, the Coast Guard will probably do a Freedom of Navigation Exercise through the at least parts of the Northern Sea Route. Hopefully we can find ways to, perhaps, disagree amicably as we have with the Canadians in regard to the Northwest Passage.
Source: CIA, The World Factbook, 2004.
NORTHCOM’s on-line magazine, “The Watch,” reports,
“The United States recently bolstered maritime security in the Bahamas by delivering a radar system to its partner in the Caribbean region.
“The U.S. $2.4 million-dollar MSS (Maritime Surveillance System–Chuck) is part of a commitment of more than $10 million to empower the Bahamas to better ensure the safety and security of its vast archipelago, the news release said. The radar is the second MSS installed with funding from USNORTHCOM, the first having become operational on the island of Great Inagua in 2019. Third and fourth systems have been proposed for Ragged Island and Great Exuma.”
There is more of course.
Now, do we have comparable systems on Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands?
Air Force Magazine talks about how decisions are made when it comes to defending the “Homeland”. It is pretty unwieldy now, but there is hope that it can be streamlined.
The Coast Guard needs to be part of this, both as Maritime Domain Awareness sensors, and as potential response assets.
As new systems are designed, we need to make sure the Coast Guard is included.