Sullivan closes out week-long meetings with military leaders
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan closed out a week of hosting military leaders before heading back to Washington D.C. on Tuesday. But he won't be gone long.
Sullivan has spent significant time this summer with the military's top brass, including:
Secretary of Defense James Mattis -- Two months ago Sullivan and Mattis arrived at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, where part of the visit featured an aerial tour of the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, among the nation's largest Department of Defense training areas.
Secretary of the Army Mark Esper -- Last week, Sullivan joined Esper at Fort Richardson where they took part in a town hall-style meeting and met with troops and their families. The two also held similar meetings at Fort Wainwright and Fort Greeley.
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson -- Last week, Wilson and Sullivan visited JBER and Eielson. Wilson also took an aerial tour of the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.
Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer -- In this case, Sullivan took Spencer to coastal communities Adak, Nome and Port Clarence, placing an emphasis on large-scale training and developing Arctic ports.
"You know, I like to say, Alaska, particularly when it comes to the military, we sell ourselves," Sullivan said. "If we can bring the leadership of the U.S. military up to Alaska, they see how strategic we are in terms of our location."
Sullivan says the stakes are high for Alaska's ability to fortify the state's military operations, as well as securing necessary federal funding. Sullivan says Alaska's Congressional delegation has secured $1.3 billion for military construction over the last three-and-a-half years.
"That's great for the nation's defense, but let's face it, it's also really good for our economy -- putting our workers to work," he said. "Having these leaders on the ground -- a number of them were here for two or three days -- was really big for us."
Alaska also received several appropriations, including up to six polar icebreakers, in a defense bill signed Monday by President Trump.
On, Friday, Sullivan returns to Anchorage to lead a discussion on opioid’s growing role in Alaska’s crime wave. It will take place noon at the University of Alaska's Alaska Airlines Center.
The panel will include some familiar names such as Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll and Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth. Sullivan also arranged for U.S. drug czar Jim Carroll and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Shultz are to be among the speakers.
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