Driven by the congressional mandate to conduct icebreaking operations in support of maritime safety and international agreements, the Coast Guard deploys icebreaking cutters to the world’s most remote waters. These missions are distinctly divided between polar and domestic ice operations: Polar icebreakers support science; domestic icebreakers support commerce. There are currently no cutters that operate in both the polar and domestic domains, and with scarce demand for Coast Guard icebreakers at the poles outside of scientific research, the service has successfully met the mission for decades while keeping polar and domestic icebreaking separate.
Arctic Security Cutters: Regionally Named, Globally Deployed
By Lieutenant (junior grade) Thomas Caero, U.S. Coast Guard