Crew members from Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) met with key leaders October 1 in Alaska’s most northeastern tribal community, while on a patrol in the Arctic Ocean.
Members from Stratton visited Kaktovik, where they met with Mayor Flora Rexford. Stratton members also participated in a question-and-answer session with approximately 45 community members, including roughly 30 children. Discussion centered on life in the Coast Guard, job opportunities within the organization, motivations for joining, and the Coast Guard’s role in the Arctic region.
Community members offered samplings of muktuk and expressed interest in more Coast Guard engagement in the community, most notably in their schools.
“We are so fortunate to have had this opportunity,” said Lt. Augustus Manzi, combat systems officer aboard Stratton. “We were met with overwhelming generosity from the community. Tribal members spent time getting to know us better and educated us on their customs and way of life. It was an incredible experience.”
The Stratton team presented a plaque to the mayor, delivered hand-knitted blankets gifted by the Alameda Navy League, and offered personalized etched glasses, knit hats and ship memorabilia to community members and their children.
Kaktovik is on the northern edge of the Arctic National Wildlife refuge and home to approximately 300 year-round residents.
CGC Stratton is a 418-foot national security cutter (NSC) capable of extended, worldwide deployment in support of homeland security and defense missions. NSCs routinely conduct operations from South America to the Arctic, where their unmatched combination of range, speed, and ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility necessary to conduct vital strategic missions.