Tag: polar star

Operation Deep Freeze: Arrival to McMurdo

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star sits moored at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Jan. 19, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star was on deployment to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star’s commanding officer gives insight on what made the Operation Deep Freeze 2018 mission a success. Through dedication and devotion to duty, the crew once again accomplished their mission breaking ice and creating a navigable channel through the Antarctic to National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station.

Introduction to Operation Deep Freeze 2018

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star reached the edge of the ice surrounding Antarctica approximately 15-miles north of the U.S. National Science Foundation's McMurdo station, January 8, 2018. The crew will attempt break through the 15-mile stretch of sea ice in McMurdo Sound, sometimes as much as 10 feet in thickness, to resupply the NSF research facilities there during Operation Deep Freeze. ODF is the U.S. military's contribution to the NSF-managed, civilian U.S. Antarctic Program, and one of the most difficult U.S. military peacetime missions due to the harsh environment in which it is conducted. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Ensign Christopher Popiel.

The Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, the United States’ only heavy icebreaker has commenced its annual Operation Deep Freeze in contribution to the National Science Foundation (NSF)-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. The Polar Star’s job is to forcibly clear a path through frozen waters for supply ships headed to Antarctica’s logistics hub, McMurdo Station.

Adm. Michel: Icebreakers are a national security imperative

Polar Star

The icebreaker-focused briefing served as an opportunity for the Vice Commandant to highlight two heavy icebreakers – the nation’s entire inventory of this strategic asset. Only one is operational, the Polar Star, and Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea, the other heavy icebreaker, reached the end of its serviceable life in 2010 having suffered casualties to two main engines.

Below Zero: Overview of Operation Deep Freeze 2017

At the start of the new year, crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star found themselves on the other side of the world, headed to one of the least hospitable places on Earth, Antarctica. Polar Star’s primary mission is to enable cargo ships to resupply the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole stations on the southernmost continent.

12 Days on Polar Star

Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star is currently headed to Antarctica for its annual mission, Operation Deep Freeze.  During Antarctic deployments, the cutter’s primary mission is to break a channel through the sea ice to ensure that resupply ships can reach the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Research Station in the Ross Sea. Resupply ships use the channel to bring food, fuel,

Continue reading

Polar Star crew recognized for mission-saving repairs

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft talks with crewmembers of Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Polar Star’s engineering crew knows more about the saga of aging cutters than the average Coast Guardsman. Every patrol, maintenance issues occur regularly, but Operation Deep Freeze 2016 was the “mother” of all casualties for the 40-year old cutter, threatening to halt a resupply mission for the U.S. Antarctic Program in Antarctica.

Heading south for winter: 26 people rescued trapped in Antarctic ice

The 157 crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star departed the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station Feb. 9, 2015 after successfully completing the surface vessel portion of Operation Deep Freeze 2015, which provided military logistical support to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program…

Headed south for the winter: Icebreaking 101

Cutter Polar Star breaking ice

Simple physics explains the process of icebreaking: two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. The 150-person crew of Polar Star uses that principle to open the channel for cargo and fuel ships to deliver vital supplies to the scientists and support personnel at McMurdo Station as part of Operation Deep Freeze.