Coast Guard members from Sector Anchorage returned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Wednesday after conducting Marine Safety Task Force missions out of Nome, Alaska, July 25-August 2.
Teams comprised of six Coast Guard marine inspectors visited a total of 15 communities and inspected approximately 55 bulk fuel storage facilities, with transportation from Nome to more remote communities provided by four Alaska Army National Guard members and two Civil Air Patrol Alaska Wing pilots.
Inspectors flew commercially from Anchorage to Nome July 25, and teams flew out of Nome daily, weather permitting, either aboard an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter or a Civil Air Patrol GA8 Airvan.
Coast Guard inspectors met with representatives in each community and discussed opportunities for federal compliance with facility managers and operators in the communities of Alakanuk, Brevig Mission, Elim, Emmonak, Golovin, Nome, Nunam Iqua, Savoonga, Shaktoolik, Sishmaref, Stebbins, St. Michael, Unalakleet, White Mountain and Teller.
“We had favorable weather for flying on most days during our deployment, and we were able to make it to Savoonga for the first time in several years,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Thayer, a team leader for the trip. “We appreciated the warm welcome and hospitality we met in each community we visited. We look forward to assisting all the facility managers in our enormous area of responsibility throughout the Western and Arctic portions of Alaska, with the goal of federal compliance. We do this to promote public safety, to prevent expensive spills that harm the environment, and to ensure people in remote places have the ability to heat their homes.”