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Alaska Dispatch: Coast Guard lays out its Arctic vision for the next decade

Earlier this week, the U.S. Coast Guard revealed its Arctic Strategy, a document that describes how the agency intends to contribute to the National Strategy for the Arctic Region signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month.

Soon after the Coast Guard released its plan, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, announced his own contribution to the emerging needs of national defense at the top of the world in the Last Frontier: hand-me-down airplanes.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Begich asked Secretary Janet Napolitano to transfer what he termed “underutilized U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft” to the Coast Guard. Repurposed with a new life at a different agency, the C-27J aircraft could save the Coast Guard $800 million, enough to buy a new icebreaker, Begich reasoned.