Coast Guard kicks off Operation Arctic Crossroads

NOME, Alaska — Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, Army National Guard, Air National Guard and U.S. Public Health Services personnel have deployed to Nome beginning a 20 day initiative to provide medical, dental, optometry, boating safety awareness and other community services to more than eight boroughs throughout Northern Alaska, and to determine operational effectiveness and overall capabilities of assets.

The operation kicked off today with a 10-member team, made up of a doctor, an optometrist, two veterinarians and support personnel visiting the community of Kivalina. Operational effectiveness operations also kicked off with the launching of Coast Guard small boats at Nome to assess asset capabilities and local infrastructure compatibility.

Operation Arctic Crossroads is a community outreach across northern Alaska, in an effort to integrate local knowledge with military expertise to meet the many challenges of Arctic operations.

“We look forward to working together to further enhance our local knowledge and expertise to face and understand the many facets of Arctic operations,” said Cmdr. Michelle Webber, supervisor of Forward Operating Location Nome. “Learning from our local counterparts and leveraging their expertise into our operations is imperative to fulfilling our statutory missions in the Arctic.”

The increasingly accessible and active Arctic region has significant environmental, scientific, economic and security impacts that have broad implications for all of the agencies participating and the public responsibilities they hold.

Operation Arctic Crossroads will be conducting daily visits to remote northwestern Alaskan villages, bringing much-needed medical, dental and veterinary care to the residents of this remote region. They will also take the opportunity to promote the “Kids Don’t Float” water safety program.

“Kids Don’t Float,” is a Coast Guard program that provides child size life jackets to better ensure the safety of children at sea.

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