Coast Guard Cutter Willow deploys to Arctic region for joint operation

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON – The Newport, R.I., based Coast Guard Cutter Willow is deploying to the Arctic Aug. 4-15 to conduct 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 will participate in various elements of Operation Nanook. The operation is 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.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our partners, demonstrating our interoperability and building new relationships during what is sure to be an exciting deployment and operation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Donahue, commanding officer of Willow. “The United States and Canada share a number of common interests throughout the Arctic region such as environmental stewardship, sustainable research development, safety and security and maintaining maritime mobility. Operations such as this are invaluable opportunities to develop critical capabilities and partnerships necessary to meet the shared challenges in the dynamic Arctic.”

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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