The military has had a huge footprint on Alaska’s frontier story — and this week on Frontiers, we will retrace those steps. We’ll also look at whether the U.S. Army’s recent decision to cut almost 3,000 troops in Alaska can and should be reversed.

Some of this week’s highlights:

    • Sen. Dan Sullivan joins us from Washington, D.C., and explains why he thinks the Department of Defense cutbacks of Alaska troops are a “huge strategic blunder,” due to a growing military threat from Russia.
    • Retired Army Col. George Vakalis, who most recently served as city manager under Mayor Dan Sullivan, talks about what the military considers when it downsizes, as well as the importance of Alaska’s geographic location and cold weather training. 
    • Bonney Bowman looks at the historical pattern of military build-ups and drawdowns. Bonney covers the military for KTVA and has reported on the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division’s unique capabilities. She also traveled to Thailand with the brigade.
    • Heather Hintze takes us to Yakutat for a look at the tribe’s environmental clean-up of an old military site. Heather covers rural and Native issues for KTVA.

Frontiers is hosted by KTVA’s Rhonda McBride, a veteran Alaska journalist. It airs twice on Sunday on KTVA and GCI Cable Channel 1 at 8:30 a.m., following Face the Nation, and at 10:30 p.m., following Nightcast.

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