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Cordova Times: Begich proposes more cargo aircraft for Coast Guard

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, has proposed transfer of underutilized U.S. Air Force C-27J cargo aircraft to the U.S. Coast Guard in support of the Obama Administration’s new Arctic strategy.

Begich posed the idea in a letter May 21 to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, saying this would relieve the Coast Guard of the need to buy new maritime patrol aircraft and would result in about $800 million in savings.

That $800 million is about the projected cost of a new heavy icebreaker, and those funds could then be applied to building the icebreaker, he said.