Governor Sean Parnell and Adjutant General Tom Katkus met with several senior military leaders in Washington, D.C. to discuss how Alaska can help our nation meet its national security objectives. This can be accomplished through Alaska's strategic geographic position, and our vast land, sea, air, and space military training opportunities. The governor offered assistance and resources to better accomplish Department of Defense missions in and through Alaska.
"I appreciated having the opportunity to meet with several of our most senior military leaders to discuss the role Alaska can continue to play in defending our nation," Governor Parnell said. "I communicated Alaska's strong support for the military and their families. I also let these senior leaders know that the State of Alaska will continue to partner with the federal government on infrastructure projects like the Tanana River Bridge to increase opportunities for Alaskans in support of military missions."
Over a two-day period, Governor Parnell and General Katkus met with Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force General Norton Schwartz, Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Craig McKinley, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs Paul Stockton, and Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment Dorothy Robyn.
General Katkus briefed senior Defense officials on the Alaska Military Force Advocacy and Structure Team's mission to retain and build on Alaska' s military force. While in Washington, D.C., Alaska's governor and adjutant general also had the opportunity to share lunch with 25 Alaska National Guard soldiers and airmen who were on assignment away from Alaska.
"We wanted these members of Alaska's Guard to know that Alaskans still remember them even when they get assigned duty out of state."
From Washington, Governor Parnell traveled to Buffalo, New York where he will deliver remarks and assume duties as the 2011 chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).