Monday, April 1, 2013, Juneau, Alaska â€“ The Alaska House of Representatives today unanimously passed a resolution urging the U.S. Congress and the President to complete funding and the deployment of the U.S. Coast Guardâ€™s new â€œLegend-classâ€ National Security Cutters, and base one of them in Kodiak.
House Joint Resolution 13, sponsored by Alaska House Finance Committee Co-Chair Alan Austerman, emphasizes Alaska’s support for increasing the nation’s maritime strength and presence in the Arctic.
“We must see forward progress on the Coast Guard’s production schedule to complete funding, acquisition and delivery of the full fleet of eight NSC ships,” Austerman, R-Kodiak, said. “As we transition to a time where world’s attention is on the Arctic, it’s even more important to base one of the NSC vessels in America’s northern-most Coast Guard installation in Kodiak, while planning for a permanent presence in our northern waters.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has completed the acquisition of five NSC vessels, three of which are in service and based in California. A fourth is under construction and a contract has been award for a fifth vessel. Kodiak’ Coast Guard base is the largest in the USCG system and closest to the Arctic, yet is still more than 1,000 miles away from the Chukchi Sea.
HJR 13 recognizes the NSC vessels as critical to our Arctic future, offering search and rescue, oil spill response preparedness, and patrol capabilities unmatched by modern technology.
HJR 13 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.