Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard Subcommittee on defending U.S. economic interests in the changing Arctic today.
During the hearing, Adm. Papp discussed America’s position as an Arctic nation, the Law of the Sea Convention, and need to complete construction of at least eight national security cutters. He also provided examples of challenges facing Coast Guard operations in the Arctic:
“Operations in the Arctic’s extreme cold, darkness and ice-infested waters require specialized equipment, infrastructure and training. Our current Arctic capabilities are very limited. We have only one operational ice breaker. We do not have any coastal or shoreside infrastructure. Nor do we have a seasonal base to hanger our aircraft or sustain our crews.”
Additional information on the Coast Guard’s requirements for Arctic operations is also available in a recent blog published by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate.