Members of Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak stationed in Kotzebue this summer are heading back to home base.
On Monday the Coast Guard wrapped up Operation Arctic Shield 2016, a mission it undertakes during the summer months in order to speed up response time to locations across the state during the busy fishing season, specifically in the Alaskan Arctic. The Coast Guard started the operation in 2009 and it’s now a yearly endeavor.
According to a Coast Guard press release, Coast Guard aircrews responded to 22 cases and saved six lives in the process. While in Kotzebue, they looked for missing hikers, investigated offshore emergency beacon alerts, helped the Alaska State Troopers with cases, responded to mayday calls, and assisted people in the water, along with other duties.
The Forward Operating Location in Kotzebue will reopen next year for Arctic Shield 2017.