Murkowski wants Pentagon to have an Arctic studies center and name it for Ted Stevens

Marines training at Fort Greely in 2018. Photo by Virginia Lang – Air Force.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Lisa Murkowski would like Congress to honor the late Ted Stevens with a new Department of Defense facility in Alaska — a center for Arctic security studies. She says the center named for her former colleague would help the military build alliances and tackle the security challenges of the circumpolar Arctic.

“It is an evolving world up there. Let me tell you, Mr. President, it’s an evolving world,” she said in a speech on the Senate floor Monday, which would have been Stevens’ 96th birthday. “As we’re seeing the impact from climate change, as we’re seeing ice recede, as we’re seeing waterways open up, as we’re seeing access, as we’re seeing greater … threats, what are we doing to prepare?”

A bill she introduced would establish the “Ted Stevens Arctic Security Studies Center.” Murkowski, R-Alaska, intends that it would be commanded jointly with Canada. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

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The Defense Department has a regional security study center in Hawaii that’s named after the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye. He and Stevens were good friends and colleagues, so Murkowski says the parallel honor is fitting.