Coast Guard completes 25,000 “Rescue 21” case.

gCaptain is reporting the Coast guard has completed its 25,000 rescue mission using “Rescue 21.”

The article also talks about the new Sector San Francisco hosted Interagency Operations Center (IOC) on Yerba Buena Island, in San Francisco Bay.

More info here.

Interagency Operations Centers are another way the Coast Guard is making itself indispensable. The question remains, who provides this sort of facility inland?

(Thanks to Ryan for the heads up.)

First time ever–helicopter to the rescue

On January 18th the Navy celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Naval Aviation. On the Commander, Naval Air Forces, official web site, among all the pictures of sleek and powerful jets, there is a photo of a crude machine that is nevertheless immediately recognizable as a helicopter sitting on two bulbous pontoons.  This was the Sikorsky HNS-1, it’s pilot was a pioneering Coast Guard aviator named Frank Erickson. He and the HNS-1 made the first helo rescue in history, Jan. 3, 1944. Flying the strange bird through a true “howling gale,” then LCdr., later Captain Erickson, delivered two cases of urgently needed plasma after a series of explosions on the destroyer USS Turner (DD-648) resulted in her capsizing and sinking while anchored off Ambrose Light, taking 138 crewman, about half the crew, with her. The plasma was credited with saving many of the survivors.

Erickson went on to invent many of the devices and techniques we now take for granted.

To all the Coast Guard aviators, thanks for what you do.

Arctic SAR Treaty in the Works

This report in the Canadian press suggests that a SAR treaty, negotiated by the Arctic Council members in December, could be signed when the foreign ministers next meet, beginning May 12th, in Nuuk, Greenland. It also gives a glimpse into the challenges the Canadians are facing in getting forces in the area.

Members of the Arctic Council include Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the US.

It will be interesting to see where they draw the sector lines since there is still some disagreement between the parties as to where the national boundaries lie.