The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, the United States’ only heavy icebreaker, arrived in Dutch Harbor on Tuesday for a logistics stop. It’s the first time the ship has docked in Dutch Harbor since 2013. 

The Seattle-based Polar Star is in the midst of a months-long Arctic deployment aimed at protecting U.S. maritime sovereignty and security, and conducting research in the polar region. 

The ship is patrolling the maritime boundary line between the U.S. and Russia, and it deployed four ice buoys in support of a scientific partnership with the University of Washington and Office of Naval Research. In support of the National Science Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Polar Star crew also launched multiple sensors to examine waters in the Arctic, a region for which little scientific data exists.

After leaving Dutch Harbor, the Polar Star crew will head north and continue to hone the crew’s icebreaking proficiency, conduct scientific research, and patrol to detect and deter illegal fishing by foreign vessels in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.