Seward, July 3, 2016 —
“Fair winds… and open leads, Shipmate.” – CAPT Jason Hamilton
The temperatures gradually fell as HEALY made her way north to Alaska. A week filled with drills and training, coupled with more flight operations (with Air Station Kodiak, this time) saw the crew arrive to Seward after many long days. But a wave of anticipation has made its way throughout the ship. Seward marks the much expected start of HEALY’s summer missions, and our proximity to the Arctic Circle signals the beginning of the science season.
Last Sunday, HEALY held its first morale dinner of the summer. The weekly event, which sees a different department cook dinner for the rest of the crew each week, featured cornhole matches in the hangar while the original Point Break played in the background. The Supply Department provided a delicious cookout with cheeseburgers, grilled chicken, fresh fruit, and ice cream sundaes for dessert. On the cornhole boards, CAPT Hamilton and CDR Lander overcame an early deficit to defeat MK2 Caleb Smith and MK3 Danielle Ray in a hard-fought, three-game series. Overall, the event provided a huge boost to energy levels and crew morale.
On Tuesday, HEALY worked with pilots from AIRSTA Kodiak to conduct recertification qualifications. The cutter’s annual summer expedition north, coupled with HEALY’s vast flight deck, always makes for a phenomenal training opportunity for pilots and HEALY, alike. Overall, there were 55 takeoffs, landings, and fueling operations completed to recertify 5 pilots. Thanks again to the crews of 6004, 6037, and 6590 from Air station Kodiak for your professionalism and expertise!
Last Tuesday also provided an opportunity for HEALY to recognize three special events. First, YNC Sarah Gallagher, BM2 Jerry Speicher, OSC Nicole Clark, and BM2 Daniel Gomes were welcomed into the Permanent Cuttermen’s community. The insignia recognizes each member’s mastery of shipboard operations, as evidenced by not less than 5 years afloat. Congratulations shipmates!
HEALY celebrated the retirement of the Executive Officer, CDR Karl Lander. Karl served over 20 years in the Coast Guard, serving on five cutters as an Engineer Officer in Training, Dive Officer, Assistant Engineer Officer, Engineer Officer, and Executive Officer (twice!). He excelled everywhere he was stationed, and thoroughly enjoyed his time afloat. Onboard HEALY he was responsible for managing the day to day schedule of the 89 crewmembers, as well as the 51 scientists that embarked last summer on HEALY’s historic expedition to the North Pole. He will retire to Camel’s Hump Mountain in Vermont where he and his wife, Erin, will enjoy the fruits of his retirement, and their farm.
We also celebrated the retirement of MK1 John Cole. A member of the Navy for 4 years before joining the Coast Guard, John served on five different cutters and loved every day that he was underway. His knowledge of shipboard systems and engineering expertise was an extremely valuable asset to HEALY last summer, as he frequently spent many hours late into the night fixing things. John’s diligent work ethic was the core of his personality, and he was a consummate shipmate in every way.
Prior to starting our first mission, AWS 1601 Chukchi Borderlands, Seward brought HEALY a vast array of science research equipment for on-loads. The Global Explorer ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle), science winches, and other critical mission-specific equipment were all delivered and loaded onto HEALY throughout the week. The Deck Department and Marine Science Division both worked extremely hard to complete on-loads in just two days.
Be sure to follow the ship via our track-line updates on Icefloe, and check in next week to read about the start of our AWS 1601 mission, Chukchi Borderlands, which will evaluate the overall health and composition of the Chukchi Sea ecosystem.
ENS Brian Hagerty
Public Affairs Officer
USCGC HEALY (WAGB 20)
For more information about CGC Healy, please visit:
We are underway from Seward after a busy working port call. In Seward, we said farewell to many shipmates including our XO, CDR Karl Lander. We will miss them, but are also pleased to have welcomed many new crewmembers to our team. HEALY is now fully laden with fuel, supplies and science gear for our expedition.
It is fitting we set sail and are at sea on the 4th of July. 240 years ago, our founders dissolved the political bands which connected them with England. They set out to be Free and Independent States, pledging to each other their Lives, Fortunes and sacred Honor. Almost two and a half centuries later, we are the few, the proud, the polar sailors who have the privilege of serving our nation at the furthest reaches of the globe.
We are steaming north to the Arctic, a region this ship and crew know well - as we've demonstrated time and time again - including our voyage to the North Pole last summer. Since the 1860s our predecessors have set sail, providing presence and access throughout the Arctic. It's our turn to carry on that proud tradition. We are ready to stand into the Arctic. Thanks for your support back home as we carry out our missions.
Captain Jason R. Hamilton
USCGC HEALY (WAGB 20)
Ex Arctic Scientia
“From the Arctic, Knowledge”