U.S./Canadian Coast Guards Collaborate on Search-and-Rescue Training

An aircrew aboard a Canadian coast guard Bell 429 helicopter prepares to land aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20) while near Resolute, Nunavut, Canada on Sept. 6, 2021. Healy’s crew conducted a professional exchange with members of the Canadian coast guard prior to commencing a joint search and rescue exercise with the two Services and the Canadian Rangers. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer First Class Michael Underwood.

U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews came together near Resolute Bay in Nunavut, Canada, in early September for a search and rescue exercise to ensure future readiness to assist both nations in rescue operations and to protect marine resources.

“Training alongside our Canadian partners while underway in the Arctic during a historic circumnavigation of North America is a great example of enhancing our interoperability and mission capabilities,” said U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz, as the Coast Guard cutter Healy transited the Northwest Passage, in support of oceanographic research critically important in this Arctic region.

“Seeing the members of the Canadian Coast Guard work hand in hand with their counterparts from the Healy has been inspiring,” said Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Mario Pelletier, who boarded the Healy for the exercises with Canadian Coast Guard Assistant Commissioner for the Arctic Region Neil O’Rourke.

“The vastness of the Arctic makes this a very difficult environment for emergency response, making every opportunity for training valuable. These exercises ensure our two countries’ Coast Guards stand ready and able to assist should we be needed,” O’Rourke said.

Healy, 420-foot-long medium icebreaker, left its homeport in Seattle on July 10 for a months-long Arctic deployment and circumnavigation of North America, in support of oceanographic research. The mission also included training to develop the Coast Guard’s future polar security cutter sailors.