U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Armed Services Committee, today applauded an announcement by Secretary of State John Kerry that former Coast Guard Commandant, retired Admiral Robert Papp, has been appointed to serve as Special Representative for the Arctic.
"Admiral Papp is an outstanding choice to serve as Special Representative for the Arctic, and I commend the President and Secretary Kerry on his selection," Senator King said. "With the Arctic continuing to emerge as an important focal point for U.S. interests, I am hopeful that Admiral Papp's extensive background and strong depth of experience will help sustain an era of cooperation among the United States and other nations with an interest in the region. I look forward to working with Admiral Papp as he assumes his new position."
Senator King has raised concerns over the impact of global climate change on the Arctic environment and the resulting implications for U.S. security, economic, and diplomatic interests, speaking most recently on the subject at the 2014 Henry Bacon Breakfast Seminar. He is also a vocal proponent of the United States actively preparing to address those developments, including calling for the appointment of an Ambassador to the Arctic to represent the interests of the United States and advocating for the United States to accede the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In late March, Senator King traveled to the Arctic with U.S. defense officials where he observed and participated in a Navy training exercise known as Ice Exercise (ICEX) to gain a deeper understanding of U.S. military operations in the region and the Arctic's strategic value to the United States.