Seattle, June 12, 2016 —
“It’s time to take HEALY back to where she belongs… the Arctic!” – CAPT Hamilton
We are underway once again, signifying both the imminent start of summer in Seattle and the beginning of another Arctic West Summer deployment! When we last spoke, HEALY had just returned from the North Pole following her historic Arctic West Summer 2015 deployment. The holiday period after our return served as valuable time for personnel to relax and get some much needed rest. After the holidays, HEALY and her crew began a grueling four-and-a-half-month dry dock period. The repairs and upgrades touched on almost every major propulsion, navigation, and scientific system onboard. During this massive overhaul and maintenance period, the crew worked tirelessly alongside contractors to repair and upgrade the ballast tanks, boilers, radars, and the electronic charting system. Many workdays ran late into the night, but the team pulled together and ensured HEALY was ready for her summer mission.
In late May, a Sea Trials period tested the newly overhauled and updated shipboard systems to ensure proper functionality following dry dock. It also provided the crew with a great opportunity to sharpen underway skills and get into the underway mindset necessary for another long Arctic deployment.
In the three short weeks following Sea Trials, we completed science gear on-loads, gave dozens of tours of the ship, and enjoyed some time with friends and family before departing yet again. Transfer season saw old friends leave for new jobs, while fresh faces arrived eager to learn. We’ll surely miss our old shipmates that relocated, but are equally excited to meet and bond with the new ones aboard!
This summer HEALY will support three separate missions in the Arctic, conducting groundbreaking science. First, HEALY crew will work with 46 researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and University of Alaska-Anchorage to assess the biological diversity of the Chukchi Sea. The team of scientists will use cutting edge technology to identify and document the species living in this region where little is known about its makeup.
The second mission will support researchers from Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Office of Naval Research through the deployment of acoustic bottom moorings. The moorings will collect data on how climate change and decreased ice coverage is affecting the Arctic Ocean.
HEALY’s final mission will feature researchers from the University of New Hampshire and use multi-beam sonar mapping and bottom dredging in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean to further support the demarcation of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). This is the tenth ECS cruise for Healy and the eighth carried out in cooperation with the Canadian Hydrographic Service. This work will directly support the United States’ claim for natural resources found on or beneath the ocean floor.
On Tuesday, June 7th we departed Seattle with some great local media coverage. A news crew even got underway with us. Another passenger transfer for an equipment technician was conducted Thursday evening in Port Angeles with Station Port Angeles. Thanks to both Station Seattle and Station Port Angeles for their assistance with the passenger transfers!
Wednesday and Thursday provided ample time for ship familiarization for newly embarked crewmembers and personnel, as well as a series of Damage Control drills to get everyone primed for the voyage ahead.
Friday morning began with boat crew training and small boat operations in order to build proficiency. Man overboard and towing drills provided each boat crew with multiple chances to hone their skills. While the small boats were underway, the davit operators instructed new personnel on operating procedures. It was a great morning of training overall!
The afternoon supplied more training opportunities, as a damage control round-robin event took place. Four teams rotated through four stations containing refresher courses on firefighting, using fire hoses, treating injuries, and operating P-100 dewatering pumps.
For any new members of the HEALY family, our ombudsman is Wauk-a-nita Carrillo. She and her husband, MST1 Sean Carrillo, reported to HEALY last year. Please feel free to reach out to her for information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The wait is finally over, as it’s once again time for HEALY and her crew to return to her natural habitat and unlock the secrets of the Arctic. Be sure to follow the ship via our track-line updates on Icefloe, and check in next week as we prepare for flight operations and a few days in the warm sun before we head north!
ENS Brian Hagerty
Public Affairs Officer
USCGC HEALY (WAGB 20)
For more information about CGC Healy, please visit:
HEALY Family and Friends,
Ahoy! We are underway for AWS16, our latest Arctic Expedition. As we begin this deployment I want to once again thank you for all you do for HEALY. Without your support back home, we couldn’t do what we do. Your sailors are thankful and feel truly blessed to have you in our lives. Thanks!
While it was very hard to say goodbye on Tuesday, spirits are high as we embark on a journey to carry out groundbreaking Arctic science and to capture data to demarcate the United States Extended Continental Shelf. We are thankful to have this opportunity to provide access and presence to support U.S. strategic objectives and to continue the proud tradition of U.S. icebreaker sailors. Many of us can't wait to get back to the ice or to see it for the first time.
This week was spent shaking the bugs out of the engineering plant, cleaning and squaring away the ship, training and starting to raise our watch-standing proficiency. We are also preparing for Aviation Standardization Training, where will conduct multiple landing and take-off evolutions to recertify as a helicopter platform. The crew has already passed their written tests and is looking forward to our first flight deck evolution off of Honolulu.
Most importantly, this is our time to work and collaborate together to become a team. The effort we put in now will prepare us for the challenges to come in the Arctic. Next month HEALY will return home to the Arctic and we will be ready to meet all operational objectives.
Thanks again to the entire HEALY family for the love and support you provide our crew. You are the ones who enable us to literally go to the end of the planet, providing unfettered access and completing our missions throughout the Arctic.
Captain Jason R. Hamilton
USCGC HEALY (WAGB 20)
Ex Arctic Scientia
“From the Arctic, Knowledge”