Four hundred miles from the North Pole, ice began to break around a research camp, threatening the camp’s shelters. A Coast Guard aircrew from Kodiak, Alaska, launched to provide support for the camp and ensure the threat of breaking ice was no more. Operations like this are commonplace in our nation’s Last Frontier and have largely gone unseen – until now.
Riding aboard the HC-130 Hercules aircraft alongside the Coast Guard aircrew, was a film crew from the new TV show “Coast Guard Alaska.” The film crew has taped Coast Guardsmen and their families for the past few months and will provide a rare insider’s perspective to the missions and lives of Alaska’s heroes.
“The filming crew has been great,” said Lt. David Corey, a pilot on the research camp overflight. “They are very flexible as far as working with us and just being aware of what our operations are and the risks associated with each operation.”
Corey knows just how different missions in Alaska can be, as his previous duty station was as a pilot at Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii. While the differences between the two locations are obvious, the implications are very real for all who operate in Alaska.
“The harsh environment, the distance of our operating area, the seas, the fishing vessels, the crab fleet,” listed Corey. “The structure of our operations out here provides all kinds of unique operations and unique opportunities to film.”
After a day of capturing the action in dangerous Alaskan waters, the cameras followed Coast Guardsmen off-duty to shed light on the tight-knit community of Kodiak. In the homes of Coast Guard men and women, the film crews were able to portray the remarkable families who support each and every servicemember.
While even “reality TV” can’t depict the full reality of any Coast Guard unit, Corey hopes “Coast Guard Alaska” will provide a glimpse of their everyday lives and life-and-death operations.
“What they show on the film is what it is actually like, so it offers a unique perspective people don’t actually see,” said Corey. “Out here, what we do is real.”