HOMELAND SECURITY: Coast Guard in the Arctic (Update 6/1/2011)
Coast Guard Reconsidering Arctic Presence
With polar sea ice melting and ship traffic rising, the U.S. Coast Guard is re-examining its Arctic presence, says an Alaska paper – the Arctic Sounder.
Alex DeMarban writes that the new commandant of the Coast Guard’s Alaska district travelled to Barrow, the northernmost community in the U.S. to see what the needs are as more ships ply the waters of the High North and even more are expected in coming years.
Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo conducted a search and rescue table-top exercise to see how prepared local officials and the Coast Guard are to handle a mass casualty event – like a cruise ship sinking.
With no permanent facilities in the Arctic — including an airfield for search and rescue operations or barracks to house aircraft or cutter crews, the answer, says DeMarban, is “Not very.” Ostebo is assessing what the needs are.
Updates to include Coast Guard link and dropped material in last paragraph.
Entry filed under: Arctic, Homeland Security, Skills and Training, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: Alaska, Canada, climate change, Coast Guard, High North, Homeland Security, large casualty disaster, maritime domain awareness, military aviation, sea ice, search and rescue, winter warfare.