Coast Guard stands up forward operating locations for Arctic Shield 2015

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, rests in the Deadhorse Aviation Center hangar in Prudhoe Bay, June 27, 2015. A Jayhawk crew is deployed to a forward operating location in support of Arctic Shield 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert)

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, rests in the Deadhorse Aviation Center hangar in Prudhoe Bay, June 27, 2015. A Jayhawk crew is deployed to a forward operating location in support of Arctic Shield 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert)

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard 17th District stood up forward operating locations in Deadhorse and Barrow Wednesday to achieve the strategic goals of operation Arctic Shield 2015.

“With increased maritime activity in the Arctic, forward deploying assets and personnel to the region will provide an increased opportunity to conduct our statutory missions,” said Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander, Coast Guard 17th District. “Strategically positioning our assets throughout the Arctic will also allow us to focus on preventing and rapidly responding to potential maritime incidents.”

As part of operation Arctic Shield 2015, the Coast Guard will deploy cutters, aircraft and personnel to engage in operations encompassing a variety of Coast Guard missions from Dutch Harbor through the Bering Strait and along the North Slope including the Northern Alaska Outer Continental Shelf.

“Arctic Shield operations and activities will include performing multiple missions, leveraging partnerships, increasing maritime domain awareness, and testing capabilities to inform future operations in the region,” said Abel.

Alaska has unique challenges with vast distances, extreme weather, limited infrastructure and remote regions. Increased commercial activity transiting the Bering Strait including energy and tourism industries will continue to significantly increase the demand for maritime preparedness in this remote region.

“The Coast Guard is committed to having a mobile and seasonal operational presence in the Arctic,” said Abel. “As the nation’s lead federal agency for ensuring maritime safety and security in the Arctic, the Coast Guard will protect the nation’s interests, safeguard the environment, and strengthen our international, federal, state, local, and tribal partnerships.”

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