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Coast Guard opens seasonal FOL in Kotzebue, Alaska

Coast Guard opens seasonal FOL in Kotzebue, Alaska
Archive image: 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.

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrews opened a seasonal forward operating location (FOL) yesterday in​ Kotzebue, Alaska.

Air Station Kodiak aircrews transferred​ aviation airframes​ and equipment to​ Kotzebue​ to reduce response time to the Bering Strait and Northern Slope​ regions​ in anticipation of historically increased maritime activity in that region during summer operations.​

“Establishing forward operating locations helps us mitigate many of the major challenges we face when operating in the Arctic, including the environment, vast distances, and limited infrastructure,” said Cmdr.​ Molly Hayes, Operation Arctic Shield operational planner. “Pre-staging flight crews from Air Station Kodiak saves critical time and resources when​ conducting​ missions in the Arctic region.”​

Coast Guard opens seasonal FOL in Kotzebue, Alaska
Archive image: A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter sits parked on a remote mountain range north of Kotzebue, Alaska, July 14, 2019.
Kodiak aircrews forward-deployed to Kotzebue assisted a French photographer in obtaining imagery of Coast Guard life in the Arctic.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Dean.

In support of Arctic Shield 2021 operations, aircrews operate out of​ the forward operating location, where they provide coverage to the entire northwestern portion of Alaska. Operation Arctic Shield is the Coast Guard’s​ rapid and proactive mobilization of resources​ focused on performing the service’s 11 statutory missions throughout the Arctic to ensure maritime safety, security, and stewardship. It is an annual operation that began in 2009.

-USCG-

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