Governor Bill Walker welcomed the United States Navy to Alaska on Monday, May 16th.
During a tour of the U.S.S. O’Kane, Walker emphasized the need for an Arctic naval base in Alaska.
In a release, Walker says there’s a critical need for the United States to have leadership and participation in Arctic discussions, as the potential for growth in the region increases. “With Alaska having more coastline than the entire Lower 48, and our proximity to Russia, North Korea, and China, it makes strategic sense for a naval base to be located in Alaska,” he said.
The U.S. Navy’s visit to the state is on the heels of the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting that took place last week, where Governor Walker met with U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson and shared similar ideas. Alaska’s strategic location in the Arctic was also discussed on recent visits with Vice President Mike Pence as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The U.S.S. O’Kane has been docked in Juneau this week.