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NEWS | May 15, 2020

Alaska National Guard Soldiers help safeguard Kodiak Harbor

By Sgt. Seth LaCount Alaska National Guard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – The Alaska Army National Guard is helping ensure that COVID-19 safeguards are followed at Kodiak Harbor.

Since May 1st, 10 members of the Guard and one Alaska State Defense Force Soldier have been patrolling the busy harbor around the clock and ensuring that safety measures are in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Soldiers relay all quarantine directives to incoming captains and their crews. Local harbormasters are responsible for any enforcement.

For crews who have recently traveled to a port outside Kodiak, Lima Flags – an international maritime signal flag code for infectious disease – are issued. The crew is then required to quarantine for 14 days before entering the Kodiak community.

These precautions are important due to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s mandate, effective May 12, that centralized all requirements related to intrastate travel and increased the ability of people within Alaska to travel.

Kodiak is the nation’s fourth-busiest fishing fleet, with a consistent influx of maritime vessels. Managing the harbor is a 24-hour operation, and the Soldiers have been working in shifts to cover the harbor at all times.

Logistics are directed locally out of the Kodiak Emergency Operations Center. The Soldiers have integrated into the staff to assist local employees in their effort to keep Kodiak safe.

“This mission has highlighted the adaptability and flexibility of the Alaska Guard,” said Alaska State Defense Force Capt. Ryan Sharratt, commander of C Co. 2nd Special Troops Battalion, who has been working as the JTF-AK liaison officer in Kodiak. “We’ve had the right Soldier, in the right formation, at the right time, and the city of Kodiak deserves nothing short of that standard.”