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Begich Keeps DoD Focus on Alaska Military

Pushes for Investments at Clear AFB, Fort Greely & Kodiak Launch Complex

Under questioning from U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, the nominee to head the Department of Defense’s (DoD) United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) today reaffirmed Alaska’s strategic importance in our nation’s defense. At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Claude Kehler agreed with Begich on the need for space access and Alaska’s role in defending against a missile attack. Sen. Begich also pushed for continued investment in Clear Air Force Base, Fort Greely and the Kodiak Launch Complex.

At the hearing, Gen. Kehler also agreed with Sen. Begich on the need to continue support of Fort Greely and for more discussions about future DoD launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex.

“Alaska’s vital role in our nation’s defense is indisputable, and I welcome today’s acknowledgement by the General of this continued important role,” Begich said. “I am pleased to hear General Kehler’s support for Alaska’s missile defense system and I’ve invited him to visit Fort Greely and Delta Junction. I look forward to additional conversations about the importance of Clear Air Force Base and the Kodiak Launch Complex’s capacity to help DoD meet its space objectives.”

STRATCOM is responsible for the plans and operations for U.S. forces conducting strategic deterrence, including ensuring continued access to space and synchronizing missile defense plans – all which impact several of Alaska’s military installations.

When discussing with Sen. Begich Alaska’s strategic importance and the important role of Fort Greely’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system and expansion of the radar system at Clear air Force Base, Gen. Kehler had positive comments.

“My responsibility is to help advocate for that capability, certainly as long as that’s our country’s view about what we need to do,” Gen. Kehler said.

Gen. Kehler was familiar with the Kodiak Launch Complex, which is holding a satellite launch tomorrow, and also said he is willing to discuss opportunities for expanded future operations there.

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