“SECNAV Nominee Commits to Advancing Navy’s Arctic Presence” –Seapower

Kenneth J. Braithwaite, U.S. ambassador to Norway and the nominee to become the next Navy secretary, in 2018. During his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on May 7, Braithwaite spoke of the importance of the U.S. foothold in the Arctic to counter “Great Power Competitors” China and Russia. U.S Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold

The Navy League on-line magazine is reporting that the current nominee for Secretary of the Navy, a former Navy P-3 patrol plane commander, is saying that he will be a strong advocate for a Navy presence in the Arctic.

Braithwaite also told Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) that he would be a strong advocate for a strategic Arctic port large enough to handle destroyers and icebreakers. The nearest such port is Anchorage, Alaska, which is 1,500 miles from the Arctic Circle, Sullivan added.

“The great news is the United States Navy has been up there for many, many years,” Braithwaite said. “You may not see them, but they’re up there. As it begins to become more navigable on the surface, we also need to make sure that our presence is noted.”

“We continue to need to be vigilant,” he added. “We continue to need to be present. That requires an adequate-size Navy to be there.”

“It will be a priority of mine.”

We talked about Arctic port development earlier:


4 thoughts on ““SECNAV Nominee Commits to Advancing Navy’s Arctic Presence” –Seapower

    • when was last time navy steamed above the Aleutian islands in a destroyer, amphib or carrier? they don’t left to coasties. last year I believe usn ran exercises with nato around arctic circle around Norway, I believe an amphib and maybe another vessel had problems. had to pull back to I think greenland or Iceland for repairs. the usn, other then subs has lost it’s capability to work in wicked cold water. many, many years ago on a navy oiler during nato exercise my fat slow oiler routinely worked near and above the arctic circle. the navy is loosing its arctic capabilities.

      • The Navy is at least talking about moving into the Arctic with surface vessels. Recent ASW exercise I think you were referring to on the Atlantic side, but not much movement on the Pacific side.

        In the late ’80s I was on the Midgett and we had an exercise with three Navy FFGs around the Naval Base at Adak. They were not very comfortable, even though it is well below the Arctic Circle. The US defines the Aleutians and North as Arctic, even though it is well below the Arctic Circle.

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