Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2016

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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21 Summer 2016 Proceedings There was also a plan to have a U.S. Coast Guard public affairs specialist aboard the icebreaker for a more than 60-day, solo journey to the North Pole. The coverage of the USCGC Healy turned out to be well-timed, as the president announced, during a tour of Alaska, that the nation needed new icebreakers. The Storytellers The U.S. Coast Guard public affairs effort further supported the Commandant's Arctic Strategy and demonstrated to an audience of millions the importance of the U.S. Coast Guard's efforts in the Arctic. Millions were able to see and hear how important the work was via images, videos, blog posts, articles, and tweets. U.S. Coast Guard public affairs specialists also deployed to the forward operating bases for Arctic Shield support in locations like Dead Horse, Alaska. There, they captured video of training exercises and daily operations and quickly uploaded the information to the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS). This allowed various public affairs specialists throughout the U.S. Coast Guard to take the images and information and pass it along to their audi- ences within 24 hours of an event. The Take-Away All of this is important for one reason — visibility for U.S. Coast Guard missions means that the public is informed about the U.S. Coast Guard's activities and impact on the nation. The U.S. Coast Guard's public affairs coverage of Arctic Shield 2015 is just one example of the enormous role that the media plays in connecting the often unseen water- ways efforts to United States citizens. An informed public can make informed decisions, from the budget for a new fleet of icebreakers to their own safety on the water. About the author: LT Anastacia Visneski most recently served as the Coast Guard's digital media officer. A third-generation Coast Guardsman, she is a graduate of the University of Washington communications leadership program with a master of communication in digital media and a master of communica- tion in communities and networks. She served more than 11 years in the Coast Guard, with service as a public information officer during Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. During the summer of 2015, she served as the public affairs officer for Arctic Shield 2015. The Story Within the Story: We Do What We Can With What We Have With less and less ice in the Arctic, new trade routes are opening, more vessels ply Arctic waters, and many are looking northward to the vast natural resources that are becoming ever more accessible. By showing the USCGC Healy's mission specifically focused on the science conducted aboard, then showing the activities of the USCGC Alex Haley, the USCGC Waesche, and the U.S. Coast Guard units in Alaska, U. S. Coas t G uard public affairs was able to show the public that the service already has a presence there, but that the service is spread too thin to cover the region. The USCGC Alex Haley For example, the Alex Haley, like far too many Coast Guard vessels in its history, is a hand-me-down ship. It was a former Navy vessel originally commissioned in 1971 and handed down to the Coast Guard in 1999. The USCGC Healy, commissioned in 1999, was purpose-built as a medium icebreaker for the Coast Guard and the National Science Foundation, joining heavy icebreakers Polar Star (commis- sioned in 1976) and Polar Sea (commis- sioned in 1977). So, in November 2016, Healy will be 17 years old. At 40 and 39, respectively, Polar Star and Polar Sea have outlasted their expected useful lives. In fact, Polar Sea is currently in "inactive" commission. We Need More So, while public affairs specialists work to report the news that happens aboard our vessels and other platforms, we must also support the Coast Guard in its efforts to secure the resources neces- sary to continue Coast Guard missions in the Arctic and around the world. "As the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Polar Star breaks into McMurdo, if they have a main console failure, if they have a crankcase explosion and now they're beset in ice, I don't have a buddy system …" — Admiral Paul Zukunft U.S. Coast Guard Commandant

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