The U.S. Coast Guard has released its new Arctic strategy, which U.S. Senator Mark Begich applauded for focusing on improving coordination of maritime activity in the Arctic; however, he said the current administration must do more to support the service’s needs.
Senator Begich said the increase of oil and gas exploration, shipping, tourism and fishing activity in the region, means Alaskans rely upon the Coast Guard to ensure safe seas in the Arctic.
He expressed concern that the White house hasn’t added funding for the operations, and wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, suggesting she transfer the U.S. Air Force (USAF) C-27J cargo aircraft to the Coast Guard. Begich’s office said the transfer would give the Coast Guard the new maritime patrol aircraft it needs and would result in $800 million in savings.