ALAMEDA — The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews conducted an Arctic search and rescue (SAR) exercise and professional exchange with members of the Canadian Rangers near Resolute Bay, in Nunavut, Canada, Sept. 6, 2021, during the Cutter Healy’s (WAGB 20) Northwest Passage transit.
The search and rescue exercise enhanced interoperability and effectiveness of response capabilities amongst the services.
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz, Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Mario Pelletier and Canadian Coast Guard Assistant Commissioner for the Arctic Region Neil O’Rourke were aboard Healy to meet with the crew and observe the joint training exercise.
“Training alongside our Canadian partners while underway in the Arctic during a historic circumnavigation of North America is a great example of enhancing our interoperability and mission capabilities,” said Schultz. “Healy is supporting oceanographic research with the science community during this deployment to the critically important Arctic region.”
The U.S. Coast Guard is the nation’s leader in Arctic surface operations and coordinates with international partners to maintain the region as safe, prosperous and cooperative by strengthening international and intergovernmental partnerships in the region through joint exercises and professional exchanges.
“Seeing the members of the Canadian Coast Guard work hand in hand with their counterparts from the USCGC Healy has been inspiring,” said Pelletier. “The vastness of the Arctic makes this a very difficult environment for emergency response making every opportunity for training valuable. These exercises ensure our two countries’ Coast Guards stand ready and able to assist should we be needed.”
Coast Guard icebreaker crews aboard Healy and the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) deploy to conduct statutory Coast Guard missions in the Polar Regions such as search and rescue and the protection of marine resources. Additionally, the crews support oceanographic research in the Arctic and Antarctic.
The Healy crew is collaborating with the international science community and institutions from the U.S., Canada, Norway and Denmark to perform oceanographic projects throughout the Northwest Passage and within Baffin Bay to inform environmental change research.
The Healy, a 420-foot-long medium icebreaker, departed its Seattle homeport July 10 for a months-long Arctic deployment and circumnavigation of North America. Since departing, the crew has been executing Coast Guard missions, supporting oceanographic research and conducting training to develop the Coast Guard’s future Polar security cutter sailors.
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