Press Release: 17-071
JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker today welcomed the United States Navy to Alaska, and continued his call for an Arctic naval base in the state. The U.S.S. O’Kane is docked in Juneau this week, and Governor Walker took the opportunity to tour the ship and give an on-deck message to the sailors stationed on board.
“Our servicemen and women make great sacrifices for our state and nation, and I’m honored to have the U.S.S. O’Kane in Juneau,” Governor Walker said. “With Alaska’s unique location on the globe and the growing potential for the Arctic region, it is critical that the United States be a leader and participant in the discussions and agreements that will come to fruition in the future. With Alaska having more coastline than the entire Lower 48 and our proximity to Russia, North Korea, and China, it makes strategic sense for a naval base to be located in Alaska. An Arctic naval base would be an excellent start in establishing and emphasizing America’s commitment to the Arctic.”
Last week, Governor Walker met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, and re-iterated the strategic importance of Alaska as the nation’s only Arctic state. The meeting with Tillerson followed meetings earlier this year with Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping, where the Governor also underscored the strategic location of Alaska and our importance in Arctic development.
For more photos from Governor Walker’s visit to the U.S.S. O’Kane, visit the Governor’s Flickr page.