Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp testified before Senator Mark Begich, Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, at a field hearing in Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday. Adm. Papp read an oral statement during the hearing. The following are excerpts from that statement.
On the Coast Guards ties to Alaska:
“The Coast Guard is no stranger to Alaskan waters. We have patrolled here since 1867 when Alaska was just a territory. During the 19th century, we ensured stewardship of the seal herds and salmon fisheries, we introduced reindeer to provide a more dependable food source for native tribes, we treated the sick and we literally were the law of both the sea and land, as our cutters cruised with embarked federal judges to dispense justice.”
On conditions for Coast Guard crews in austere Arctic operation locations:
“Cold Bay in particular is a challenge. The hangar is in disrepair, has no heat and there is only limited berthing which is graciously provided by the Alaska State Troopers. Our crews do not complain, because they know that being forward deployed saves lives.”
On the Law of the Sea treaty:
“We also need the Senate to accede to the Law of the Sea treaty. All other Arctic Nations and most other nations worldwide have already done so. U.S. accession would secure important rights that ensure Coast Guard mobility, freedom of navigation, and provide us with greater influence to shape desired national outcomes for maritime safety, security, and environmental protection.”
Click here to download and read Adm. Papp’s oral testimony.