Coast Guard Cutter Willow returns home after 43-day Arctic Patrol

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — The Newport, R.I., based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Willow returned home from a 43-day Arctic patrol at approximately 11:30 a.m. Monday, after conducting maritime safety and security exchanges with the Canadian navy and coast guard along with elements of the Royal Danish navy.

During the deployment, Willow and a team of Coast Guard divers participated in various elements of Operation Nanook. The operation was in the northernmost region of the high Arctic in the vicinity of Cornwallis Island, Baffin Island, Lancaster Sound and the Barrow Strait area, approximately 2,300 miles northeast of Willow’s homeport.

Under the direction of Canada’s Joint Task Force North, the cutter is participating in this operation to enhance the Coast Guard’s interoperability with international forces and to provide the experience of working and responding to incidents in the harsh Arctic environment.

“It’s great we had a chance to set a mark for today’s cutterman,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Donahue, commander of the Willow. “Our mission was to gain experience, and we now have 46 crewmembers that have just that. It was a product of good teamwork.”

Willow is one of two Juniper class sea-going buoy tenders homeported in Newport and has a crew of 46 including nine officers and 37 enlisted personnel.

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