Senator Stevens Delivers for Coast Guard in Alaska
Bill Funds Operations of USCGC Acushnet and Icebreakers, Construction of Housing in Cordova
Over the weekend, Congress approved the Continuing Resolution which contained several provisions authored by Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who voted in favor of the comprehensive measure. The bill strengthens the Coast Guard's presence in Alaska by providing funds for operations and construction of family housing.
"Coast Guard personnel serving in Alaska are the tip of the spear when it comes to protecting our nation and its mariners in both the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea," said Senator Stevens. "With the ever changing world we live in, one thing is constant - Alaskans can always count on the service and dedication of our brave Coast Guard members. This bill will provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively."
Senator Stevens championed a provision that provides $7.6 million to operate the Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet. The Acushnet has a crew of 120 and is homeported in Ketchikan. Without these funds, the Acushnet would have been decommissioned.
"This funding will ensure the Acushnet stays in Ketchikan," said Senator Stevens. "The ship and her crew are an integral part of Ketchikan's economy and protect vital interests throughout Alaska's waters."
The Continuing Resolution funds the Coast Guard at $6.19 billion for operating expenses including a two year program reactivating the polar icebreaker Polar Star for an additional ten years. This funding will help the Coast Guard better secures ports and waterways throughout Alaska and the nation.
"The United States must maintain a robust icebreaker fleet. Along with reactivating the Polar Star, America needs new and enhanced icebreakers to meet our security, economic, and scientific research needs," said Senator Stevens. "This is critical because receding sea ice will open our northern waters to increased human activity. Icebreakers are key to asserting U.S. claims on Alaska's Arctic Shelf."
The bill also contains $11.6 million for military family housing in Cordova.
"Providing Coast Guard families with suitable, safe housing is a top priority of mine," added Senator Stevens.