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Welcome Aboard

Welcome aboard and congratulations on your assignment to the nation's premier high latitude research vessel. As a member of the HEALY team, you will be an integral part of a highly experienced and committed crew helping provide presence and access throughout the Arctic for all of the Coast Guard’s missions and particularly for ground breaking research. We look forward to welcoming you onboard!

Your primary point of contact will be your sponsor, who was assigned in your welcome aboard message. They will provide you with most of the information you require and will assist you in your PCS transition. In the column to the left, you can read about our previous missions, find contact information for USCGC HEALY, and learn the ship’s command, characteristics, and history!

Mission Capability

HEALY is designed to conduct a wide range of research activities, providing more than 4,200 square feet of scientific laboratory space, numerous electronic sensor systems, oceanographic winches, and accommodations for up to 50 scientists. HEALY is designed to break 4 feet of ice continuously at three knots and can operate in temperatures as low as -50 degrees F. The science community provided invaluable input on lab lay-outs and science capabilities during design and construction of the ship. At a time when scientific interest in the Arctic Ocean basin is intensifying, HEALY substantially enhances the United States Arctic research capability.

Common Destinations on Deployment

Each summer from June to October, HEALY travels north to the Arctic to support the National Science Foundation in conducting scientific research. USCGC HEALY has frequented international ports throughout the pacific but mostly visits ports throughout the pacific northwest, including:

Alaska: Dutch Harbor, Juneau, Kodiak, Ketchikan, Nome, and Juneau.
British Columbia: Victoria, Esquimalt, and Prince Rupert.

Command Philosophy

During our time aboard HEALY we have the unique opportunity to facilitate groundbreaking science in the Arctic. Novels are written and movies are made about what we do and your HEALY service will result in memories and sea stories you will be proud of. To ensure we safely excel at our missions, while I have the privilege of serving as your Commanding Officer, I will ask you to live by the core values and to implement the below ideals. As America’s newest and most technologically advanced polar-icebreaker, it is appropriate that the first letters of these themes spell out the acronym ICE:

Initiative – Recognize and take action to do what needs to be done. Learn and know your role and perform assigned duties to the best of your ability to the betterment of yourself, your shipmates, and HEALY. When you combine initiative with a positive attitude you can accomplish great things. I will do my level best to back you personally and professionally when you lean forward.

Cooperation – Be a team player. Operating in the most remote regions of the world demands that we rely on and respect each other as shipmates. Working as a team and effectively communicating with each other will ensure we accomplish our missions safely, effectively, and efficiently. Coordinating closely with the embarked science parties is always a must. Our collective efforts will foster a positive atmosphere that leads to mission success.

Excellence– Do your best. As Vince Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Along with POLAR STAR, HEALY is the U.S. polar ice-breaking capability. It is our duty to operate at the highest level and to train our shipmates to do the same. The public and the Coast Guard expect this from us on a daily basis.

Underlying these tenants is safety. We will operate safely at all times. I would rather modify a science station or get home a day later than have someone injured.

Polar ice-breaking is a mission I love and look forward to sharing with you. The Coast Guard core values and the above leadership themes will guide my decisions while I have the opportunity and privilege to serve as your Commanding Officer. I challenge and expect you to live by the core values and to implement these ideals during your service aboard HEALY.

Cell Phones in Alaska

GSM (Global System for Mobiles) phones tend to work better than CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) phones in Alaska. Common GSM providers are T-Mobile and AT&T. Common CDMA providers are Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular. For those who desire more reliable cell phone access during Alaskan port calls, it is recommended to consider changing cell phone providers to those listed above.

Ratings Present at Unit


Typical SN/SA Job Assignment

Primary responsibilities of deck non-rates will be standing watch as Lookout and Helmsman, Winch Operator, A-Frame Operator, Rigger, and may include Helicopter tie-down, Cutter Rescue Swimmer, Ice Rescue, and Quartermaster of the Watch. You will also participate in science operations and with over the side deployment of water sampling equipment.

Typical FN/FA Job Assignment

Primary responsibilities of engineering non rates will be standing watch as Technician of the Watch, performing maintenance and repair of mechanical systems. Upon reporting, FN/FA will be assigned to work for either the Main Propulsion (Main Prop) or Auxiliary Systems (A-Gang) divisions.

Helpful Links


For any questions regarding the reporting in process, please contact YNC Sarah Gallagher at or (206) 217-6300.

Last Modified 2/1/2016