Sen. Lisa Murkowski urges administration to continue training opportunities in Alaska's Arctic

Sen. Lisa Murkowski addresses Alaska media in Dec. 2018 (KTUU)
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - During a Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to talk about the Navy and Marine Corps budget requests for 2020 in the Capitol, Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, questioned the leaders about plans the branches have for future military exercises in the Arctic region.

According to a press release from Sen. Murkowski’s office, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, says they have exercises planned for this year.

“We sent the Harry S. Truman north of the Arctic Circle for the first time since 1991. And we’ve got more planned– a major exercise with the Marine Corps up in Alaska this fall and looking forward to continuing to build our skills there,” Richardson said.

The Commandant of the U.S Marine Corps, Robert Neller, had similar thoughts, echoing his desire to send more teams to the state. “We’re always looking at places to train or to deploy to get advantage of the training areas, and there’s great training at Elmendorf-Richardson, and also up at Wainwright.”

Also during the meeting, Sen. Murkowski asked the U.S. Navy Secretary, Robert Spencer, about the possibility of the Navy having a deep-water port in the Bering Sea.

“When it comes to the port, while we do not have a requirement for a port, yes, having a deep-water port such as Nome would be an advantage in the area,”said Secretary Spencer. “This summer, the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) and I have talked about having an exercise go to the Bering Sea.”

Secretary Spencer also said that Navy has plans for training in Adak, including an amphibious exercise, and making use of Adak’s airstrip.

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