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Posted: December 12, 2018 12:18 PM

SECNAV: Navy Looking at Possibility of Seasonally Using Adak for P-8 Training

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON — The Navy is looking ways it can provide more presence in the Arctic, including possible part-time use of a closed naval air station on the island of Adak, midway along the Aleutian island from the Alaskan mainland.

“The vice [chief of naval operations] and I have talked about a possible P-8 det [detachment] up to Adak,” Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, said Dec. 12 on Capitol Hill at a joint hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and on Readiness and Management Support subcommittees. “There are definite training uses and there is definite ability to affect the National Defense Strategy with Arctic activity.”

Spencer said the Navy’s level of Arctic operations was a matter of “portfolio management.”

“If I had a at blank check for everything, it would be terrific to ice-harden ships,” he said. “With the demand [on the fleet] we have right now it is unaffordable.”

Spencer said “we need to get up there [in the Arctic]. I can commit to the fact that we’re trying to figure out how we do service that.”

He said that he has looked at the possibility of an Arctic port, noting that “the Coast Guard, in concert with the Navy … should definitely flesh out what could possibly be done. When it comes to using Alaska, in the Arctic area, for training, the commandant [of the Coast Guard] and I have talked about this, [with] plans to go look at doing something possibly this summer on Adak, for training.”

Naval Air Station Adak was a regular deployment for Navy P-2 and P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft during the Cold war, allowing the aircraft to patrol the Bering Sea and Northern Pacific for Soviet submarines and ships



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