Arctic Crossroads 2009 Multi-agency Deployment Concludes, Cutter and Aircraft Patrols Continue

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The multi-agency phase of operation Arctic Crossroads concluded Sunday following 20 days of testing assets, area familiarization and community outreach.

Utilizing expertise from all over the United States, members of the Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, Army National Guard, Air National Guard and U.S. Public Health Services deployed for this operation. Medical and water safety teams were taken to villages in Northern and Northwest Alaska with the assistance of the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Communities visited included Kivalina, Koyuk, Wales, Unalakleet, Shishmaref, Savoonga, Gambell, Little Diomede, Teller, Brevig, Barrow, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Pt. Lay, Kaktovik and Nuiqsut. Medical doctors examined 166 patients, an optometrist examined 149 patients, a dentist treated 14 patients and veterinarians treated 1,169 animals.

The Coast Guard also successfully tested 4 types of small boats including a Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boat (SPC-SW), a 25′ Response Boat-Small (RB-S), an 18′ Sea Wolf Kite boat, and a 24′ Munson boat.

“Major goals include identifying best practices for operating in the northern-most regions of the United States while fostering positive, mutually beneficial relationships with the First People that have lived there for centuries,” said Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin, Commander of 17th Coast Guard District, “We are successfully meeting our objectives which is critical for potential operations in the Arctic as we look north to the future.”

The Coast Guard Cutters Alex Haley and Spar continue surface patrols while biweekly Arctic Domain Awareness flights are being conducted from Air Station Kodiak.

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