US Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) and Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier conducted a search-and-rescue exercise Wednesday near Point Hope.

The exercise commenced with Stratton deploying a small, unmanned craft to act as a vessel in distress and simulated a distress call, voiced by Petty Officer Third Class Isabel Acevedo-Garcia. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier answered the call and notified the U.S. Coast Guard District 17 Command Center of the simulated vessel in distress. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship then launched their small boat and Stratton directed their Scan Eagle aerial drone to locate the craft. Displaying exceptional bilateral coordination, operations specialists aboard Stratton directed the Canadian small boat toward the distressed vessel while watching a live feed from the overhead drone. The small boat located, recovered, and returned the distressed vessel to Stratton’s crew.

“Exercises such as this help strengthen our international partnerships and increase our emergency response effectiveness in the remote region,” said Capt. Stephen Adler, Stratton’s commanding officer. “We’re grateful to our Canadian partners. The Arctic makes for a challenging environment and we look forward to any training opportunities to ensure that we are ready to assist and coordinate should a situation arise.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is the nation’s leader in Arctic surface operations and coordinates with international partners through joint exercises and professional exchanges to maintain a safe and prosperous Arctic region.

Cutter Stratton is a 418-foot national security cutter (NSC) capable of extended, worldwide deployment in support of homeland security and defense missions. NSCs routinely conduct operations from South America to the Arctic, where their unmatched combination of range, speed, and ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility necessary to conduct vital strategic missions.