Coast Guard Commandant: US Needs More Icebreakers

In an op-ed that appeared in today’s Alaska Dispatch News, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft discussed the need to expand the U.S. icebreaker fleet, noting that it the U.S. is  currently “one engineering casualty away from being unable to protect national interests, preserve our sovereignty and respond in the polar regions.”  He added that an expanded icebreaker fleet “is only becoming more important as seasonally receding sea ice has made the Arctic increasingly accessible to shipping and traffic,” and stated that “the acquisitions and partnerships we make today will impact our nation’s interests for decades to come. For the Arctic, that future is now.”

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