Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopters retired after 36 years of service in Alaska

Members of Air Station Kodiak attend a ceremony to retire the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter airframe at Air Station Kodiak, April 23, 2024. Air Station Kodiak will be the fourth Coast Guard Air Station to transition to a single rotary-wing ship and shore-based fleet of nine MH-60 Jayhawks in 2025. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Second Class Ian Gray)

Kodiak, Alaska (KINY) – The Coast Guard retired the Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter fleet during a ceremony on Tuesday, April 23.

Capt. Timothy Williams, commanding officer of Air Station Kodiak, presided over the ceremony honoring the 36 years of service the MH-65 Dolphin airframe and its crews provided to the Arctic region.

Air Station Kodiak currently has a rotary-wing fleet of six MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. The unit will shift to a rotary-wing ship-and-shore based fleet of nine MH-60 Jayhawks in 2025.

Air Station Kodiak will be the fourth Coast Guard Air Station to transition to a single rotary wing fleet of MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. Air Stations Borinquen, Traverse City, and New Orleans all recently completed similar transitions.

“For decades, the cutter and helicopter team were the core of the ALPAT mission,” Cmdr. James Kenshalo, MH-65 Dolphin pilot said. “Together they projected force and protection to the most extreme remote regions of our nation’s territories, operating beyond where help could reach. Countless lives have been saved because of these dedicated crews.”

Commissioned in January of 1988, the Alaksa Patrol (ALPAT) mission executed solely by MH-65 Dolphin aircrews provided Coast Guard Cutters with a reliable airborne asset during Alaska Patrols.