Sullivan: Congress funds new icebreakers - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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Sullivan: Congress funds new icebreakers

SEWARD AND KODIAK WILL GET INFRASTRUCTURE DOLLARS

A major appropriations package passed Congress last week that included $655 million for the design and construction of a new “heavy polar security cutter,”  also known as an icebreaker, $20 million to acquire long lead-time materials for a second icebreaker, $400 million for offshore patrol cutters and $340 million for fast response cutters, six of which will be based in Alaska.

The funding means the country will construct the first two heavy-duty icebreakers in 40 years.

The bill provides $53 million for shore-side infrastructure facilities in Alaska to support the new cutters, with $22 million going to Kodiak and $31 million to Seward.

“After years of advocating for the federal government to take America’s role as an Arctic nation seriously, we have finally secured substantial resources for our country to strengthen its position in the region with a brand-new icebreaker,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan.

“With this appropriation, Congress and the Trump administration are acknowledging that Alaska is America’s Arctic, a fact that is important to our broader national security interests. I was glad to have the opportunity to use my leadership role on the Commerce and Armed Services Committees, in conjunction with Senator Murkowski’s work on the Appropriations Committee, to secure America’s first new polar icebreaker in a generation and the needs of the Coast Guard in Alaska.”

Sullivan will likely discuss details of the appropriations during his speech to the Alaska Legislature at 11 am on Thursday.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Shouldn’t we be advocating for federal budget cuts so we (and our kids) don’t have to pay off the huge federal deficit?

  • While it is fun to have some new hardware, I would like to see Senator Sullivan step up and do something meaningful to clean up the corruption in the Department of Justice. We will not have a country worth defending if it is controlled by a bunch of arrogant, entitled Ivy-league criminals in DC.

  • Good work in Congress to all who supported this.
    These Icebreakers could pay for themselves if Alaskans can figure out how to ship LNG directly from the Beaufort Sea.
    With thinner sea ice and increased traffic in the Arctic, I feel these Icebreakers are of utmost importance.
    The Russians have a fleet of them on the other side of the water and with increased Oil drilling in the Beaufort, these vessels may prove very useful in our near future.

  • Time to cut this commie crap out. Throwing good money after bad by breaking up ice for the research ships running a grant scam to prove the global warming hoax. What a boondoggle.

  • If the ice is melting, why do we need ice breakers. Just askin.

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