The U.S. Coast Guard anticipates deploying USCGC HEALY for operational exercises in and around Baffin Bay in late summer 2021, which will include a transit through the Northwest Passage. The UNOLS Office and the AICC are working with the Coast Guard to help the research community identify and coordinate Science of Opportunity uses of HEALY during thisdeployment.
The Northwest Passage transit will commence from Dutch Harbor, AK in mid-August and proceed east through the Northwest Passage ending in Nuuk, Greenland in mid-September. This portion of the trip is principally a transit and will afford the opportunity for passive science programs only (pending approval by the Government of Canada). The Coast Guard anticipates making up to ~20 berths available to science during the transit through the Northwest Passage. HEALY’s return transit to Seattle is not yet defined.
The Baffin Bay cruise will embark from Nuuk, Greenland on or around September 14, 2021 and debark in Nuuk on or around October 19, 2021. This nominal time frame will be used to support science programs but there is strong potential that USCG operations could interrupt science operations on an infrequent basis. The Coast Guard anticipates making up to ~30 berths available during exercises in and around Baffin Bay.
The Coast Guard is requiring that researchers interested in conducting science aboard HEALY during either its transit east through the NWP, or during its operations in and around Baffin Bay, submit a one-page Letter of Interest (LOI) by July 15 2020. This LOI should describe the general or specific science activities being proposed, identify desired locations for proposed science activities, and identify key requirements such as core science equipment needed and number of berths envisioned. This LOI must be accompanied by a preliminary Ship Time Request (STR) submitted through the UNOLS STR system portal. Proposers are advised that HEALY’s 2021 east Arctic mission is primarily operational and that research spaces and facilities that are usually provided for research use may be limited or unavailable. Science users will not need to cover ship time costs and the National Science Foundation may provide STARC technician support if needed. Proposers are encouraged to contact their program managers at relevant agencies to explore appropriate mechanisms for supporting opportunistic research activities during these HEALY 2021 missions.
The following statement provides some guidance as to Coast Guard priorities with this mission:
“The objectives of this mission are to support research that advances fundamental understanding of the Arctic region and continue to work with our allies and partners on the mutual goal of ensuring a safe, secure, and cooperative Arctic.”
The Coast Guard is also particularly interested in synergies with Canadian Arctic research.