Without adequately providing for the defense of our nation, the U.S. will cease to be the beacon of freedom we are today. In these times of global threats—be it a resurgent Russia, a growing Chinese military, an unpredictable North Korea, or Islamic extremists, the United States military must be trained, equipped, and ready to defend our interests around the world. One of Congress’s most sacred responsibilities is to “provide for the common defense of our nation,” and I will do all I can in Congress to achieve this end.
As the most strategic place in the world, Alaska plays a significant role in ensuring a strong national defense. This fact was true when General Billy Mitchell testified to that fact in 1933, and it remains true today. Alaska offers unique and unparalleled training areas, including the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. While ranges in the Lower 48 are parts of states, JPARC’s training areas are the size of states, providing 65,000 square miles of unencumbered air space (Florida), 2,490 square miles of land space (Delaware), and 42,000 square nautical miles of surface, subsurface, and overlying airspace over the Gulf of Alaska (Virginia).
Support for Alaska-based service members, their families, and veterans runs deep within Alaska’s DNA. We as Alaskans pride ourselves in the strong relationship we share for our Alaska-based military members.
It’s been nearly 20 years since the passage of the ‘All-American Resolution, language I spearheaded in the late 1990’s that was critical to bringing the Ballistic Missile Defense System to Fort Greely and in those 20 years I have continued to fight to ensure we maintain robust missile defense programs, especially in Alaska. I fought to bring the Missile Defense Agency back to Kodiak by including language in previous defense authorizations to enhance the capability of state-owned spaceports, like the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, and to bolster the arsenal at Fort Greely. I continue to advocate for these programs because I believe that Alaska’s strategic location coupled with the growing threats in the Pacific and Arctic regions make these systems critical to not only the defense of Alaska but also to the Nation.