USCG Polar Star’s First Visit to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Since 2013

The Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB-10) has made a logistics stop at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, 30 days into a months-long Arctic deployment.

The 44-year-old heavy icebreaker is patrolling the Bering and Chukchi Seas to project power and support national security objectives throughout Alaskan waters and into the Arctic, including along the Maritime Boundary Line between the United States and Russia.  

During the mission’s first leg, Polar Star traversed a historic winter latitude, navigating farther north than any U.S. surface ship in history. The Polar Star‘s record-breaking winter Arctic latitude, reached on December 25, 2020, is 72° 11’ N.

The Polar Star crew engaged in various scientific research initiatives, including the deployment of four ice buoys in support of a scientific partnership with the University of Washington and Office of Naval Research. And, in support of National Science Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Polar Star crew launched multiple sensors to examine Arctic waters, a region from which little scientific data exists.

Upon departing Dutch Harbor, the Polar Star crew will again transit North and continue to hone the crew’s icebreaking proficiency, conduct scientific research, and patrol to detect and deter illegal fishing by foreign vessels in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.

The last time the nation’s sole heavy icebreaker visited Dutch Harbor was in July 2013 during ice trails following the unit’s re-activation.

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