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The Arctic Gateway

Good afternoon from Eagle River.

As I am certain is the case for most, we are sledging through a busy schedule, leading or participating in a number of meetings, advancing project research, participating in conferences and more.  We in ADAC respectfully offer the following as a short update of recent and coming events for your near-term review.

Senate Hearing on U.S. Coast Guard Arctic missions. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Security, convened a hearing on 8 Dec 2020 to discuss, “U.S. Coast Guard Capabilities for Safeguarding National Interests and Promoting Economic Security in the Arctic." The hearing examined issues identified in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) 2019 Arctic Strategic Outlook including the status of acquisition plans, training exercises, and investments in infrastructure as well as the importance of USCG presence in the Arctic. National security implications of Chinese, Russian, and United States' presence and interests as well as the current state of the USCG ice breaking capacity were also discussed. testimony describing strengths including Arctic exceptionalism and cooperation in search and rescue and science and technology research as well as challenges including gaps in current capability and capacity to address risk in the region. Congress members and experts offered insight and proposed actions to mitigate risk including public-private investment strategies; innovative intermediate port solutions; expeditionary basing options; future fleet augmentation options; and increased focus on science and technology; and research and development to address current and emerging threats and increase resiliency in the region.

The Arctic Security Dialogues, hosted by the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute and ADAC, address a broad spectrum of security issues to include, but not limited to, national security, homeland security, and the many components of civil security. “Toward a U.S. Army Arctic Strategy” is the second program in the series, following the inaugural discussion on the U.S. Air Force Arctic Strategy. The U.S. Army has yet to publish an Arctic Strategy, though one is currently in development.

Please join us on Friday, 11 Dec 2020 from 12-2 PM Alaska and 4-6 PM Eastern for an expert conversation on the developing challenges, emerging opportunities, strategic priorities and essential components that could influence an upcoming U.S. Army Arctic Strategy. A panel of active and retired U.S. Army General Officers and a CANUS group of defense and security experts will contribute perspectives and suggestions on policy, planning and/or operations for drafters to consider in the development of the U.S. Army’s Arctic Strategy.  You can register for this event (no cost) at https://arcticdomainawarenesscenter.org/Events

Hudson Institute discussion on the changing Geopolitics of the Arctic.  Please join the Hudson  Institute for a discussion of how the newly elected U.S. administration will deal with the geopolitics of the Arctic and the consequences of rising tensions for the operations and tasks of the U.S. and its allies and adversaries.  As listed by the Hudson Institute, the conversation will be moderated by Senior Fellow, Liselotte Odgaard.  Recent developments cause concern that the Arctic cannot be maintained as a low-tension region where cooperation dominates. Growing Russian military provocations and threats towards the U.S. homeland and China’s emerging economic, diplomatic and scientific strategic presence keep the U.S. and its allies and partners increasingly on the alert. The U.S. is ramping up its early warning and power projection capabilities and its diplomatic activities in the Arctic. The U.S. Navy is already back in the Arctic after being gone for 30 years, patrolling regularly in the region. In July 2020, the U.S. Air Force released its Arctic Strategy, outlining how the air and space forces will provide assets capable of conducting operations throughout the Arctic into the future. And as of late, the U.S. Army has announced that it is working on an Arctic strategy. These developments point to the growing importance of the Arctic region in US defense planning.

Polar Guardians: Coast Guard Icebreaking in the High North. As listed by our partners and friends at the Wilson Polar Institute and U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Center for Arctic Study and Policy (CASP), please mark your calendar on 18 Dec 2020 for the first public screening of the documentary, “Polar Guardians: Coast Guard Icebreaking in the High Latitudes.” The film will be introduced by the Admiral Karl L. Schultz, the 26th Commandant of the Coast Guard, who will address both the legacy and the future of Coast Guard missions in the polar regions. An expert panel to follow the documentary's release will feature Fran Ulmer, former chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, and Admiral Thad Allen, 23rd Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.   Please register at https://engage.wilsoncenter.org/a/polar-guardians-coast-guard-icebreaking-high-latitudes?emci=5f5b57c0-c535-eb11-9fb4-00155d43b2cd&emdi=061d5bd0-f73a-eb11-9fb4-00155d43b2cd&ceid=200404

We in ADAC look forward to giving you an update on our research, education and upcoming events at our Customers and Partners’ Roundtable on 13 January, please register at https://arcticdomainawarenesscenter.org/Events

Please stay safe and be well!

Warmest wishes and very respectfully, Church