Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp, Jr. today traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to participate in roundtable meetings with oil industry representatives and tribal leaders, underscoring the Department's commitment to working with its partners to ensure the safety and security of the Arctic region.
"The U.S. Coast Guard has a very active presence in Alaska, and we are pleased to have strong partners in the Arctic region," said Secretary Napolitano. "As the Arctic environment changes, we are committed to working closely with state, local, tribal and private partners to ensure preparedness and resiliency to minimize any adverse impacts to the environment and commerce."
Secretary Napolitano and Admiral Papp joined members of a Congressional Delegation, Senators Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich, for a roundtable meeting with oil industry partners to discuss collaboration on efforts to facilitate maritime commerce, support maritime safety and protect the environment. In partnership with the oil industry and federal, state, local, and tribal government partners, the Coast Guard is preparing for increased Arctic activity driven by drilling operations through Operation Arctic Shield--a three-pronged interagency operation in Alaska's coastal Arctic domain consisting of outreach, operations, and assessment of capabilities from February through October 2012.
Secretary Napolitano also met with tribal leaders to discuss greater collaboration with Native Alaskans. The Coast Guard has a long history of working with Native Alaskan communities, and remains committed to working with tribal partners to keep people safe at sea and protect the environment.
Yesterday, Secretary Napolitano and Admiral Papp met with the Congressional Delegation in Cold Bay, Alaska to visit Coast Guard assets on the Aleutian Chain.
For more information, please visit www.dhs.gov.