Coast Guard ends forward deployment to Cordova

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter positioned in Cordova on October 5, 2020. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak

U.S. Coast Guard officials have ended the summer deployment of an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, with the crew returning to Kodiak on Monday, Oct. 5.

Throughout the deployment, which began on May 14, air crews out of the forward operating location in Cordova flew on 11 cases and saved four lives.

Air Station Kodiak personnel deploy to Cordova every summer to cover the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound, allowing crews to provide better response times and coverage to remote areas during periods of increased maritime activity.

The Coast Guard also forward deploys resources to the Bering Sea region in summer and winter months to provide support during times of increased commercial fishing activity. As noted by Lt. Zach Farrell, a pilot with Air Station Kodiak, having crews staged at these forward operating locations reduces the distance air crews have to travel when responding to emergencies.

Even in summer months, the Alaskan environment can be dangerous and unpredictable, and having quick response times is an absolute necessity when disasters occur, Farrell said.