US heavy icebreaker arrives in Pearl Harbor ahead of Antarctica mission

US Coast Guard file photo

US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived in Pearl Harbor on Tuesday to make final preparations before sailing to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2019.

The 42-year-old Coast Guard cutter is the United States’ only operational heavy icebreaker. The crew is scheduled to make their sixth deployment in as many years to directly support the resupply of McMurdo Station – the United States’ main logistics hub on Antarctica.

The Polar Star recently completed a six-month drydock period where outdated equipment was upgraded or replaced. The 399-foot icebreaker is the only ship in the United States’ fleet capable of clearing a path through the Antarctic ice to escort resupply ships to McMurdo Station. The resupply ships deliver cargo and fuel to sustain year-round operations on the remote continent.

Operation Deep Freeze is a joint military service mission in support of the National Science Foundation – the lead agency for the United States Antarctic Program. Since 1955, U.S. Pacific Command has assisted in providing air and maritime support throughout the Antarctic continent. This year marks the 63rd iteration of the annual operation.

The Coast Guard has been the sole provider of the nation’s polar icebreaking capability since 1965, and is seeking to increase its icebreaking fleet with six new Polar Security Cutters to ensure continued national presence and access to the Polar Regions.

While in Pearl Harbor, the Polar Star will complete a variety of maintenance and repairs and to take on provisions in preparation for the month-long transit to Antarctica.

Share this article

Follow Naval Today

Events>

<< May 2019 >>
MTWTFSS
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2

Anti-Submarine Warfare

The conference will, in the presence of industry, provide a unique opportunity to understand what next generation platforms…

read more >

Defence Safety Conference 2019

The Defence Safety Conference returns to London this October as the only event solely dedicated to enhancing safety across all aspects of defence.

read more >

PACIFIC 2019

As the only comprehensive international exhibition of its kind in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, PACIFIC 2019…

read more >