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Begich Responds to Pentagon Release of Arctic Strategy

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today responded to the release of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) first ever Arctic Strategy.

Begich is a former member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and currently sits on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. Sen. Begich is also the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, the Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard.

“I am pleased to see the Department of Defense realize the importance of the Arctic region and the role it plays in our national security. As ice continues to make way for increased shipping routes and offshore development, the Arctic region holds unlimited economic potential for the U.S. and Alaska in particular, with the potential to create thousands of jobs and bring greater energy security to our country.

“I urge Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to swiftly assess the need for greater icebreaking capacity in the Arctic – an issue I have championed. I am sponsoring an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill to authorize up to four additional icebreakers, which are necessary because of increased shipping traffic and development. As we move forward, I also hope the DOD continues to frequently assess the need for a greater Coast Guard presence in the Arctic as well.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Hagel as the Arctic Strategy evolves and am glad to see solid acknowledgement of the importance of the Arctic to our nation’s national security, economy and diplomatic presence.”

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