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Letter to Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Senator Lisa Murkowski wrote Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, encouraging him to have the Navy commission the USS Anchorage -- a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship -- in Anchorage once it completes its sea trials.

"Alaskan hospitality is legendary. It is well known through the Armed Forces that no people support our men and women in uniform more enthusiastically than the people of Alaska," Murkowski wrote.

Murkowski concluded that "the commissioning ceremony presents the Navy with an important opportunity to reintroduce itself to the people of Alaska. We have missed the Navy's year round presence in our state since the closure of naval facilities in Adak. Yet we remain hopeful that we will be able to welcome the Navy back to Alaska as the US presence in the Arctic develops."

The USS Anchorage is the second ship to be named for Anchorage, Alaska. The letter to Secretary Mabus is attached.

Dear Secretary Mabus:

I understand that the Navy intends to commission to USS Anchorage (LPD 23) in late 2012. I cannot think of a better place to commission this exciting new vessel than the city for which it is named -- Anchorage, Alaska.

Alaskan hospitality is legendary. It is well known throughout the Armed Forces that no people support our men and women in uniform more enthusiastically than the people of Alaska. For generations many who came to Alaska to serve have chosen to make Alaska their permanent residence. Our state hosts more veterans per capita than any other state in the union. Our Alaska National and Community Service ranks Alaska ninth in the Nation for volunteerism and second in the Nation when it comes to the number of hours that each of our volunteerism and second in the Nation when it comes to the number of hours that each of our volunteers devote to community service. These factors lead me to conclude that the people of Alaska will go all out to make the commissioning of the USS Anchorage a truly memorable event.

The Port of Anchorage, which is one of our Nation's strategic ports, is fully prepared to host the commissioning ceremony. In August 2011, the Port of Anchorage celebrated its 50th anniversary as the hub of waterborne commerce in Alaska. I understand that it was deemed suitable to host the commissioning ceremony following a recent sit visit.

Finally, the commissioning ceremony present the Navy with an important opportunity to reintroduce itself to the people of Alaska. We have missed the Navy's year round presence in our State since the closure of naval facilities in Adak. Yet we remain hopeful that we will be able to welcome the Navy back to Alaska as the US presence in the Arctic develops.

On behalf of my constituents I would like you to know that Alaska would be thrilled to host the commissioning of the USS Anchorage and I pledge to do all that I can to help make for a successful event. If I can be of any further assistance in your deliberations, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Cordially,

Lisa Murkowski
United States Senator


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