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US Coast Guard establishes Polar Coordination Office

The US Coast Guard operates US icebreakers such as Coast Guard Cutter Healy . (Janes/Michael Fabey)

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has established a Polar Coordination Office (CG-PCO) under the USCG Director of Marine Transportation Systems (CG-5PW), the service confirmed on 20 February.

CG-PCO was stood up as an office on 4 July 2023 and reached initial operating capability (IOC) on 7 November 2023.

Office duties include developing USCG Arctic and Antarctic strategy and policy, the service said in its official establishment notice.

That work includes supporting the “execution of these through unified messaging and co-ordinated engagements within the coastguard and across interagency and international fora in conjunction with … other offices and operational commands as appropriate”, the USCG said.

The USCG operates the country's only icebreakers, such as Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20), and provides most of the naval operational assets for the polar regions.

CG-PCO will co-ordinate across the “polar enterprise” at USCG headquarters and across the operational areas on both polar policy and strategic issues, the USCG said.

“Its creation does not change enterprise functions for development, execution, and support of operations or acquisition and sustainment of capabilities,” the USCG said.

In addition to helping determine Arctic and Antarctic policy and strategy, the Polar Coordination Office also will work on ocean policy and programmes, the USCG said.

Those policies and programmes are focused on “co-ordination, consultation, and integration of policy among federal, tribal, state, and local governments with a goal to advance both polar and ocean-related policy in promoting the interests of the United States and our partners”, the USCG said.

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