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KODIAK, Alaska — Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak crews opened up a seasonal forward operating location in Cold Bay in advance of winter fisheries Sunday.
Coast Guard aircrews transferred equipment and air assets to Cold Bay to reduce the response time to Bristol Bay, the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.
A Coast Guard cutter with a Kodiak-based MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew will also be on patrol in the Bering Sea during the majority of the season.
MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews deployed to Cold Bay will rotate helicopter personnel each week, along with logistic flights by Kodiak-based HC-130 Hercules airplane crews, through April 15, 2015, with a scheduled break between December and January.
“Establishing forward operating locations helps us ensure the safety of mariners during peak fishing seasons in the region,” said Lt. Bernie Garrigan, operations duty officer, Air Station Kodiak. “The FOL in Cold Bay can eliminate hours of flight time transiting from Kodiak to maritime emergencies in Western Alaska during one of the busiest fishing seasons of the year.”
Air Station Kodiak utilizes three FOLs throughout the state of Alaska to cut down response times to mariners in distress. In the summer, helicopter crews are deployed to Cordova and Barrow.