On Saturday, the Coast Guard opened its forward operating location in Kotzebue, Alaska, for the 10th year of Operation Arctic Shield. According to a press release, Arctic Shield is intended “to support Coast Guard missions in response to increased maritime activity in the Arctic.”
Two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and crews are stationed in Kotzebue and will assist with search-and-rescue operations and other maritime emergencies. In addition, three Coast Guard icebreakers based out of Dutch Harbor will engage in missions in the Bering Strait and Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
The Coast Guard says it will also conduct what it calls Operation Arctic Guardian: meeting with community responders in the Arctic to teach and plan for basic oil-spill response.