07.21.20

Murkowski Commends Air Force’s Arctic Strategy

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) issued the following statements after the Department of the Air Force unveiled an Arctic Strategy:  

“One of my top priorities is ensuring the Arctic region is a national priority. The Air Force’s first ever Arctic Strategy not only recognizes the importance of the Arctic, but emphasizes Alaska’s essential role in projecting national power and protecting our homeland. As General Billy Mitchell, the “Father of the Air Force,” testified before Congress in 1935, “[I]n the future, whoever controls Alaska controls the world. I think it is the most strategic place in the world.” From our strategic location to the assets and personnel stationed in the state, Alaska’s central role to America’s Arctic strategy is vital. 

“This is also one of the first Arctic strategies to highlight that it is the indigenous people who reside in Arctic communities that have the knowledge and skills about the region to help Air and Space Forces to better understand the Arctic environment. I would like to specifically applaud Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett for highlighting indigenous communities and harnessing their knowledge to enrich exercises for our military and allied partners as well as to enhance our national strategic interests. My sincere thanks to all that contributed to developing this Arctic Strategy for their involvement to advancing America’s interests in the Arctic and the world.”

Alaska Highlights in the Air Force’s Arctic Strategy:

  • The Arctic represents a cornerstone of the nation’s defense. The Department of the Air Force provides close to 80 percent of DoD resourcing to the Arctic region. Installations across Alaska, Canada, and Greenland include large bases, training complexes, satellite command and control stations, and a constellation of more than 50 early warning and missile defense radars.
  • The Arctic is a region of immense geostrategic significance and a key location for global power projection. With two large Alaska air bases, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), and other strategic facilities, the Air and Space Forces project power into two critical theaters: Indo-Pacific and Europe. Often unrecognized, Alaska offers the quickest flight access to strategic locations across the Pacific region and western Russia. As evidence of Alaska’s strategic location, once the planned F-35 bed-down is complete, Alaska will be home to more advanced fighters than any other location in the world.

Murkowski is the senior Senator for Alaska, America’s only Arctic state. She is also co-chair of the Senate Arctic Caucus and a member of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region. Murkowski is a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

Related Issues: Arctic, Defense