U.S. COAST GUARD/PETTY OFFICER ERIC J. CHANDLER
Capt. Beverly A. Havlik, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, briefs Rear Adm. Thomas P. Ostebo, Coast
Guard District 17 commander, on plans for the return trip to the open sea after the Russian tanker Renda completed the
transfer of 1. 3 million gallons of fuel to Nome, Alaska, on Jan. 15.
ting the track for the tanker and learning how the
tanker acted, reacted and handled in the very icy conditions, and [those conditions] changed during the
transit. Constant dynamic forces change how [ice] acts
and reacts to us and then how it’s going to react to the
tanker vessel. It’s quite a learning experience.
What was it like doing a mission you’ve never
done before under the media spotlight?
HAVLIK: It was a pretty neat experience. The timing
for the mission for us, coming at the end of a long
deployment when we’re at the top of our game and are
familiar with working with one another as a crew, and
the ingenuity that was required with the bridge team,
and the engineers, to jump on any equipment casualties we had, repairing quickly and get us moving again.
It was just an all-out team effort. It couldn’t happen at
a better time as far as the ship’s experience and schedule. It was a fantastic learning opportunity for a lot of
people. Being in constant, close order with another
vessel for 300 miles is pretty thrilling in itself.
Was there ever a time that you thought Healy
wouldn’t make it to Nome?
HAVLIK: I knew Healy could make it. Learning how we
needed to work with the other vessel was concerning
at one point. There was the night that we beat our
heads against the wall and got some minimal distance
and shut down for the night due to darkness. We were
in some heavy-ridged area, where it’s just not safe to
operate in the dark, and we waited for the daylight.
What is the closest comparable mission in which
you’ve been involved?
HAVLIK: In 1994, I was aboard the 180-foot Coast Guard
Cutter Gentian and we escorted a barge up the Potomac
River to deliver 2. 5 million gallons of fuel to the
Washington, D.C., area after a severe winter storm froze
the river. It was a pretty neat mission, too, as it took
about five days to deliver the fuel from North Carolina.
Did the crew understand the worldwide attention the mission was getting?
HAVLIK: We had gotten some requests that if we could
provide any footage or photographs or anything like that,
it would help build a story. So we kicked into production