Senator Lisa Murkowski today pressed the top scientists within the Department of Defense for the latest data connected to their Assured Arctic Awareness initiative being conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Murkowski noted that while the Obama administration's answers to her ongoing Arctic inquiries on Capitol Hill have been "lackluster," she was impressed by the DARPA work being done and reminded the Director that this is a matter of national importance.
DARPA Director Dr. Arati Prabhakar agreed with Senator Murkowski that the Arctic must be a national priority and informed her that she was looking forward to the finalization of data produced by the AAA Initiative, to inform regional situational awareness and maritime security.
At the conclusion of her question-and-answer time, the Chief of Naval Research added that the United States Navy has been increasing its activity in the region. Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder informed Senator Murkowski and the entire Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that a group of Navy researchers had just installed a new set of monitors in the Beaufort Sea and had plans for more sensors this summer, adding "the Arctic means a lot to us."