SEATTLE — The Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20) departed Seattle, Tuesday, for a months-long Arctic deployment.
The crew aboard Healy, a 420-foot icebreaker, will provide U.S. surface presence in the Arctic, conduct high latitude science and research missions, engage in exercises and professional exchanges with foreign partners, and conduct other operations as directed throughout the deployment.
Healy’s deployment supports the Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy while providing critical training opportunities for Polar sailors and future operations in the Arctic.
“We’re excited to begin our Arctic deployment to the high latitudes,” said Capt. Michele Schallip, Healy’s commanding officer. “Our deployment will support scientific exploration to increase understanding of the changing Arctic environment and associated impacts. We’ll also have opportunities to deepen the Coast Guard’s cooperation with our allies, and partner nations through engagements and joint exercises to promote regional stability, security and strengthen our collaborative partnerships.”
Schallip assumed command of the Healy in June, having previously served as the cutter’s executive officer.
The Healy deploys annually to the Arctic to support multiple science missions and Operation Arctic Shield, the service’s annual operation to execute U.S. Coast Guard missions, enhance maritime domain awareness, strengthen partnerships, and build preparedness, prevention, and response capabilities across the Arctic domain.
Commissioned in 2000, Healy is one of two active polar icebreakers in the Coast Guard’s fleet. The Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) is a Polar icebreaker commissioned in 1976.
The Coast Guard is recapitalizing its Polar icebreaker fleet to ensure continued access to both Polar regions and support the country’s economic, commercial, maritime, and national security needs.