The Coast Guard will deploy its only heavy Icebreaker to the Arctic this winter to “protect the nation’s maritime sovereignty and security in the region,” according to a Coast Guard press release.
The Coast Guard says it normally sends the Polar Star to Antarctica for Operation Deep Freeze, an annual mission to resupply the nation’s Antarctic stations. However, this year’s resupply at McMurdo station in Antarctica was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aircraft will be used for a limited resupply at the McMurdo station. A full resupply would still require a heavy icebreaker, and the Coast Guard aims to send the Polar Star towards the South Pole next year.