Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan have introduced a bill to create a Department of Defense regional center called the Ted Stevens Arctic Center for Security Studies.

According to a Monday release from Murkowski’s office, the department has five research centers in the Northern Hemisphere that help achieve the objectives of defense strategies in an academic forum and foster international networks of people at the forefront of security. 

If enacted, the proposed center would be the first in the Arctic and Alaska.

"Ted Stevens knew the importance of the Arctic and a strong national defense to Alaska and to our nation," Sen. Murkowski wrote in the release. "With the growing prominence of the Arctic in global geopolitical and strategic affairs, now is the time to give the DoD the tools it needs to foster the research and dialogues that will be critical to our nation's national security."

Sullivan said Alaska’s congressional delegation has worked since statehood to educate the Defense Department and Congress about Arctic issues. “This Arctic center will ensure that our military can further study security challenges in the region and pioneer creative solutions to address these issues.”

He added that it’s fitting that the center be named after Stevens, a man he said was a fierce advocate for Alaska’s role in national security.

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