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Resolution Calling on Coast Guard to Increase Nation's Maritime Strength Passes Legislature

Austerman’s HJR 13 wants new National Security Cutter to be based in Kodiak

Saturday, April 13, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska Legislature today voted to send a resolution to Washington, D.C., today urging the U.S. Congress and the President to complete funding and the deployment of the U.S. Coast Guard’s new “legend-class” National Security Cutters, and base one of them in Kodiak.

House Joint Resolution 13, sponsored by Alaska House Finance Committee Co-Chair Alan Austerman, emphasizes Alaska’s support for increasing the nation’s maritime strength and presence in the Arctic.

“We need the federal government to finish what they’ve started, which is completing construction on the eight NSC ships,” Austerman, R-Kodiak, said. “As we transition to a time where the world’s attention is on the Arctic, it’s even more important to base one of the NSC vessels in America’s northern-most Coast Guard installation in Kodiak, while planning for a permanent presence in our northern waters.”

Kodiak’s Coast Guard base is the largest in the USCG system and closest to the Arctic, yet is still more than 1,000 miles away from the Chukchi Sea.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has completed the acquisition of five NSC vessels, three of which are in service and based in California. A fourth is under construction and a contract has been awarded for a fifth vessel.

HJR 13 recognizes the NSC vessels as critical to our Arctic future, offering search and rescue, oil spill response preparedness, and patrol capabilities unmatched by modern technology.

HJR 13 passed the House April 1, and will be sent to the Governor. Copies of the resolution will be sent to President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Alaska’s congressional delegation, all other members of the 113th United States Congress, and the presiding officers of the legislatures of each of the other 49 states.

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