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Old 06-24-2019, 12:38 PM
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Arrow 1st Report: Defense bill calls for military port on Arctic Ocean

1st Report: Defense bill calls for military port on Arctic Ocean
By: Ed Adamczyk - UPI Defense News - 6-24-19
RE: https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/201...3241561399214/

Photo link: https://cdnph.upi.com/svc/sv/upi_com...ctic-Ocean.jpg
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice in the Arctic Ocean. The defense bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate this week calls for a military Arctic port. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard

June 24 (UPI) -- The defense bill in the U.S. Congress specifies that a new strategic port in the Arctic Ocean must be identified and designated.

The action is meant to counter Russian advances in the Arctic, notably by its submarine fleet, as the ocean warms and becomes easier to navigate.

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act is expected to receive a vote in the Senate this week. It directs the Secretary of Defense to work with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration to submit a report to Congress evaluating potential sites for the port. The defense secretary must then designate, within 90 days, one or more of the choices as a "Department of Defense Strategic Arctic Port."

Russia has 7,000 miles of Arctic coast. It regards the region as an area in need of security, as well as a potential economic jackpot. Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated the Russian Arctic region's mineral wealth at $30 trillion. A Senate Armed Services Committee report to Congress said that the polar circle contains undiscovered oil and gas as well as an "abundance of uranium, rare earth minerals, gold, diamonds and millions of square miles of untapped resources."

The U.S. Congress has noted that melting ice caps could open new trade routes in the region, but a lack of icebreakers, ships designed to break through thick ice. The United States Coast Guard has two, both in need of repair, while Russia has about 40, several of which are nuclear-powered, in the region. Russia also has a military base, known as "Northern Clover," under construction in northern Siberia, as well as 19 deep-water ports and 14 airfields in the region.

"The opening of the Arctic is an opportunity to work collaboratively with other nations to maintain security and stability in the region and with those who are willing to help maintain the freedom of the seas," said Adm. James Foggo, commander of US Navy in Europe.

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2nd report link: US government mulls Arctic port to counter Russia, China
By: Global Construction Review - 6-24-19
RE: http://www.globalconstructionreview....er-russia-chi/

Photo link: http://www.globalconstructionreview....R35i0QuRo.webp

US defence secretary Mark Esper, sworn in today, will be directed to identify a site for a “strategic Arctic port” if the the US military’s annual authorisation bill is passed by the Senate.

The Senate will vote on the 2020 National Defence Authorisation Act next week, reports Defense News, and will require Esper to submit a report to Congress that evaluates potential sites, and to choose one or more of them within 90 days.

The call for a port, possibly in Alaska, is a response to the withdrawal of Arctic sea ice, which is increasing importance of the “northern route” between Asia and Europe and creating the opportunity to exploit oil and gas deposits.

It also follows plans by China to use the route as a “northern silk road” to halve the time it takes for a container to reach Rotterdam from Shanghai, and Russia’s building of military bases in the region, most notably the Northern Clover air defence base at the Franz Joseph Land in northern Siberia.

Admiral James Foggo, commander of US Navy in Europe, commented earlier this month in a podcast: “The opening of the Arctic is an opportunity to work collaboratively with other nations to maintain security and stability in the region and with those who are willing to help maintain the freedom of the seas.”

Image: US Navy F18s taking part in an Arctic exercise in 2018 (Adelola Tinubu/US Dept of Defence]

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Well so much for protecting the Arctic sites

Boats
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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