Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp has spent a week in Alaska, underscoring the importance of establishing and maintaining a range of Arctic partnerships.
Despite snowfall in the North Slope of Alaska last week and cooler than average temperatures all summer, Arctic sea ice extent tracked well below average again this year. This ongoing transformation of the Arctic Ocean from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into an emerging maritime frontier is attracting increased human activity in U.S. Arctic waters which demands an effective, capable U.S. Coast Guard presence.
Shortly following the release of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region in May, 2013, the Coast Guard, under the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security, became the first U.S. federal agency to release and begin implementing its own Arctic strategy. One key objective of the Coast Guard Arctic Strategy and Coast Guard Operation Arctic Shield 2013 is broadening partnerships, and this was the prime reason for Adm. Papp's visit to Alaska where he met with senators, other government officials involved, local government and tribal officials.
“We are an Arctic nation, not a nation with an Arctic state,” said the Commandant. “The cross-cutting nature of Arctic issues requires a whole-of-government approach, fully informed by Native Alaskans and other Arctic stakeholders with unique Arctic insights.”
Pictured: Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp meets with Gov. Sean Parnell and Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus in Anchorage, Alaska.