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Begich Welcomes Coast Guard Admiral Papp to Alaska

Coast Guard resources, changing face of Arctic focus of trip

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich announced today he is hosting U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp for a visit to Alaska next week for discussions on the Coast Guard's future in Alaska, additional resources needed, and how the changing face of the Arctic impacts Coast Guard operations in Alaska.

The two will fly to Kotzebue Tuesday, August 10,  to meet with local leaders, and to review Operation Arctic Crossroads, a joint operational exercise involving several federal agencies.

"We all know changes in the Arctic are impacting the lives of Alaskans, fisheries, shipping, and agencies like the Coast Guard," Begich said. "I am pleased to welcome Admiral Papp to Alaska to get a firsthand look at life above the Arctic Circle and to talk to Alaskans about the needs and challenges of our residents as well as the future needs of the Coast Guard in our state."

Operation Arctic Crossroads is a multi-day exercise with the Coast Guard, Air Force, Air National Guard, Army, Army National Guard and Public Health Service. Personnel from each agency deploy to a number of rural Alaska communities where they provide a variety of services including medical treatments, veterinary care, and boating safety awareness classes. The exercise gives the members of the services an opportunity to get to know the regions better and meet many of the residents.

Admiral Papp became the 24th Commandant of the Coast Guard in May and leads the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security with 42,000 active duties, 8,200 Reserve, 8,000 civilian and 31,000 volunteer auxiliary members.

Following the Kotzebue visit, Sen. Begich will go on to Nome for a number of meetings including a veteran's town hall.

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