Coast Guards Northern Most Small Boat Station
The city of Valdez is a small community with a population of approximately 4300 people. It is located at the south end of Richardson Highway, in the northeast corner of Prince William Sound.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Valdez has the highest average snowfall in America with an average of 326 inches (including ice pellets and sleet) per year. Visitors to Valdez must be prepared for the areas large amounts of rain and snow.
The average summer temperatures in Valdez are 60 degree days with 46 degree nights. During the winter one can expect overnight lows of 19 degrees, warming to just shy of freezing during the day. Record winter lows approach -23 degrees.
Port Valdez is the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, which carries crude oil from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean. Large oil tanker ships export the oil from the Alyeska Marine Terminal to distant refinery facilities. Coast Guard Station Valdez helps to ensure the security of the Alyeska Marine Terminal as part of the Coast Guardís Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security (PWCS) Mission.
Search and Rescue (SAR) assistance and Maritime Law Enforcement are provided throughout the Stationís Area of Responsibility (AOR). The Stationís AOR is one of the Coast Guardís largest, covering the entirety of Prince William Sound including the towns of Cordova and Whittier.
The city of Valdez is located at the southern end of Richardson Highway on the Alaska Highway System. In order to access the Alaska Highway from the continental United States, you must transit though Canada. A passport is not required for passage though Canada for members travelling on PCS orders. The Alaska Highway is a long, remote route. Members must recognize the risks involved with this type of travel, and be prepared in advance with knowledge of local weather and road conditions.
An alternate method of reaching Valdez when travelling with your personal vehicle would be aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System (the ferry). The Alaska Marine Highway System can provide transit from the continental United States to Valdez, Alaska from ports located in either Portland, Oregon, or Bellingham, Washington. Contact the SATO office at 1-800-753-7286 to arrange travel.
Members, who desire to ship their personal vehicle, can obtain airfare to the Valdez City Airport. The airport is located about 4 miles away from the town center. Car rentals can be obtained from within the Valdez City Airport by contacting Valdez U-Drive (1-800-478-4402).
While your daily working uniform will be the ODU, members are expected to report for duty on their first day wearing the Tropical Blue Long uniform. After checking in, a duty section will be assigned. Duty sections work 2 days on, 2 days off, with sliding weekends.
Due to the small size of Valdez, housing is limited. Securing private sector housing can prove difficult. In addition to calling the station, members are encouraged to contact Valdez area real estate companies for available housing.
Coast Guard housing is available for members with dependants. Call 907-834-5377 for further information.