Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp, Jr. today traveled to Cold Bay, Alaska where they joined a Congressional Delegation led by Senators Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski to visit Coast Guard assets in the region, including the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf. Yesterday, Secretary Napolitano and Admiral Papp visited the Coast Guard Air Station in Kodiak, Alaska and met with the men and women stationed in Kodiak who contribute to the Department's efforts to ensure Arctic maritime safety, security, and stewardship.
"The Coast Guard's mission in Alaska is becoming all the more important given the growing shipping and commercial interest in the Arctic," said Secretary Napolitano. "As activity in the region increases, we will continue to work closely with state, local, tribal and private partners to secure our waters and enhance our capability to respond to any threats or disasters."
The Coast Guard is the nation's lead federal agency for ensuring maritime safety and security, and has a long history of working with Alaska Native partners who reside in the Arctic. In the Alaska and the Arctic region, the Coast Guard is responsible for securing more than 42,000 miles of coastline; conducting search and rescue missions that save hundreds of lives; and working with state, local, tribal, federal, international, and private sector partners to keep arctic waterways open and safe.
Tomorrow, Secretary Napolitano, Admiral Papp and the Congressional Delegation will participate in roundtable meetings in Anchorage with oil industry representatives and tribal leaders.
For more information, please visit www.dhs.gov.