Coast Guard Opens FOL in Cold Bay
The Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak crews opened a seasonal forward operating location in Cold Bay on Sunday. The Coast Guard aircrews transferred equipment to Cold Bay to reduce response time to Bristol Bay, the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.
Petty Officer Kelly Parker says the Coast Guard picks forward operating locations based on how busy it is in the area.
“A lot of activity going on, whether it’s fishing, so our response time can be quicker if there’s any mariners in distress.”
Parker says Cold Bay is perfectly placed for easy access to fisheries and the all-weather airport made it ideal.
“The infrastructure that’s already in Cold Bay helps us to use our C130’s airplanes or our helicopters, it provides that infrastructure.”
Lt. Bernie Garrigan says hese FOL’s are important because they ensure the safety of mariners during peak fishing seasons.
A Coast Guard cutter with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew will be on patrol in the Bering Sea during the majority of the season. MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews deployed to Cold Bay will rotate helicopter personell each week, as well as logistic flights by Kodiak-based HC-130 Hercules airplane crews through April of 2015.
Air Station Kodiak utilizes three FOLDs throughout the state of Alaska. In the summer, helicopter crews are deployed to Cordova and Barrow.