Secretary of U.S. Navy listens to UAF Arctic policy

By Sam Allen



The United States Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, met with UA President Patrick Gamble and Chancellor Brian Rogers to discuss Artic policy on Friday afternoon in Butrovich.


UA President Pat Gamble (left), US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (middle) and UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers (right) listen to a presentation by Dr. Bob McCoy about the Geophysical Institute’s part in studying the Arctic. – Zayn Roohi / Photo Editor

Mabus was on campus to, “Underscore the importance of the Arctic to our navy as we see the effects of climate change as we see less ice in the summer as we see more commercial traffic as we see more tourism as we see more exploration for minerals.”

UA officials and scientists presented ideas and challenges of increasing work in the Arctic.

Mabus says that Naval involvement in the Arctic will remain consistent for the next five years. After 2020 he expects there to be more naval activity due to an expected increase in commercial traffic, tourism, increase need for search and rescue and disaster response, as Arctic development and trade increases.

The United States is taking over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015. The council consists of eight countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. They focus on inter-governmental approaches to determining Arctic policy.

“Today, we don’t have many people who are trained to work in the Arctic, but we’re getting better,” Mabus said. He pointed to the SEAL cold-weather base in Kodiak, Alaska as a place where they are looking to increase training and exercises.

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