Coast Guard conducts Arctic mass rescue operation exercise in Nome, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard and city of Nome personnel conducted a mass rescue operation exercise Tuesday in Nome as part of Operation Arctic Shield.

In 2013 there were an estimated 440 vessel transits through the Bering Strait. The exercise is designed to identify potential opportunities for improvement in preparedness and response to a maritime emergency in the region. Participants went through all the steps necessary to respond, ranging from setting up an incident command post under the National Incident Management Structure to dispatching emergency medical services.

“As maritime commerce and traffic increases through the Bering Strait and the Arctic, it is vital for federal, state, local and tribal governments to work cooperatively to effectively respond in the event of an incident,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Boyle, of the Coast Guard 17th District prevention department. “This exercise is capitalizing on preparatory work that we have been doing for the last two years and builds on our Arctic strategy of broadening partnerships and modernizing governance.”

Arctic Shield kicked off in January with outreach operations in the region and will conclude in the fall. The Coast Guard conducts Arctic Shield seasonally to advance maritime domain awareness through operations, intelligence and partnerships to improve preparedness and responses capabilities by testing those capabilities and refining the resource requirements needed for the Arctic region.

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