Congressman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has introduced a bill to establish a fund to bring more icebreakers into the U.S. fleet. The legislation would create the National Icebreaker Fund.

The fund would “pay the costs of construction, alteration, renovation, lease or charter of icebreakers.”

An independent analysis released in February of this year recommended that the Coast Guard needs three heavy and three medium icebreakers to cover the anticipated needs of the U.S. in the Arctic and Antarctic. For now, the Coast Guard operates two icebreakers — the medium icebreaker Healy and the heavy icebreaker Polar Star.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.