Air Station Traverse City to assist with Gulf oil spill

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City deployed one HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter and aircrew Tuesday to the Gulf Coast region to assist with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill clean-up efforts. The air station’s crew will provide aerial reconnaissance to assist incident management teams with tracking the spread of oil and help guide employment of surface assets.

“Our crew is on task and engaged in the important work of responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” explained Cmdr. Jonathan Spaner, commanding officer of Air Station Traverse City. “They are based in New Orleans and are working alongside scores of federal, state, local and private partners. Our unit is prepared to do everything possible to assist with the spill response while remaining fully capable on the Great Lakes,” he said.

Air Station Traverse City is assigned to the Ninth Coast Guard District and has five HH-65C helicopters, which mainly support search and rescue operations on Lakes Michigan and Superior and the northern portion of Lake Huron. Deploying aircraft and crews to other districts around the country is quite normal and can be expected when a large scale operation, like the Deepwater Horizon spill, occurs.

Traverse City’s aircrew joins thousands currently od Coast Guardsmen devoted to the response efforts. Deployment of this aircraft and crew will not degrade the Coast Guard’s search and rescue or maritime safety capabilities on the Great Lakes.

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