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20 May, 2000

Why are we on the USCGC Healy?

The USCGC HEALY is the United States Coast Guard's newest icebreaker. It is 420 feet long.about the length of one and a half football fields! This icebreaker was built to be able to break 4 =BD feet of ice continuously at three knots. It can operate in temperatures as low as -50 degrees F. The HEALY is designed to be able to help scientists do research in the Arctic Ocean region. The HEALY will make it possible to conduct many kinds of research activities for up to 50 scientists at a time. As it is a brand new ship, many of the new systems are being tested to be sure that everything is working perfectly. There will be four weeks of scientific testing starting on May 25, 2000. Dr. Kelly Falkner from Oregon State University will lead the first week of scientific testing.

Teacher Janice Rosenberg and I be helping Dr. Falkner and letting you know how the testing is going. What information are they trying to find out? What kinds of tests will they be doing? What equipment will they be using? Is the equipment work properly? We'll watch carefully and let you know!

The HEALY was named to honor Captain Michael A. Healy, a pioneer of Coast Guard service in the Arctic. In 1866, Healy was the Commanding Officer of the cutter BEAR in Alaskan Waters. During the last 20 years of the 19th century, Captain Healy was the United States Government in most of Alaska. He acted as judge, doctor, and policeman to Alaskan Natives, merchant seamen and whaling crews. He protected the natural resources of the region, stopped illegal trading, resupplied remote outposts, enforced laws and treaties, parcticipated in rescues, and scientific research.

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