Operating in the Arctic environment requires military services that are equipped and ready, says Commander of US NORTHCOM General Glen VanHerck. "We are not there today. We are working closely with the Department to get there", he says.
"Presence and persistence in the Arctic is what we need", Commander of US Northern Command, General Glen VanHerck said during a hearing this week in the House Armed Services Committee.
General VanHerck, who is also commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), expressed the need to do more to be ready for operations in the Arctic.
The Air Force General pointed to required infrastructure needed, which includes maritime infrastructure such as commercial ports that are deep enough for cruisers, destroyers and coast guard cutters, to maintain persistence. He also mentioned communications capabilities to operate north of 65 degrees, infrastructure for airplanes to operate on missions on a day-to-day basis, not only in Alaska, but across Canada and into Greenland to execute the tasks.
Operating in the Arctic environment requires military services that are equipped and ready, VanHerck mentioned and added: "Candedly we are not there today and we are working closely with the Department [of Defense, journ.note] to get there".
The hearing dealt with issues pertaining to national security challenges and US activity in the North America. Some of the lawmakers present at the hearing particularly noted the concern with the lack of basing along the US' Northern coast in the Arctic.
"We have not spent a lot of time talking about the Arctic, we know that is is a new area of considerable concern", US Congressman John Garamendi (D) added.