For the first time in almost five decades, the Coast Guard’s heavy icebreaker won’t be supporting Antarctic scientific missions in coming months but will operate instead the Arctic near Alaska, the ice breaker’s commander said recently.
USCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10) will deploy in December “to project [U.S.] sovereignty” over its waters off Alaska and “to strengthen the rules based-order in the Arctic,” Coast Guard Capt. Williams Woityra, said last week at the Wilson Center.
In late October, Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, said in a statement announcing the mission change. “The Arctic is no longer an emerging frontier, but is instead a region of growing national importance,” she said.