A new U.S. Arctic security studies center opens in Anchorage

The Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies is the Defense Department's sixth such regional center.

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A C-17 Globemaster III sits on the flight line at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska on Dec. 2, 2021. (Patrick Sullivan / U.S. Air Force)

The latest security studies center of the U.S. Defense Department, with a focus on the Arctic, has officially opened its doors.

The Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies, which is housed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, is the sixth such regional center, and its creation — first announced last summer — shows the growing importance of Arctic security concerns to the U.S. defense community.

The center is named for the late, long-serving U.S. senator from Alaska. It will help us truly embrace our role and responsibility as an Arctic nation,” said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska who was a driving force behind its creation, in a statement.

It’s establishment is “a significant step forward in addressing Arctic Security challenges while raising awareness of the region’s strategic importance,” said Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), in a tweet.

The center will be led by Randy “Church” Kee, a retired U.S. Air Force major general who previously served as the executive director of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center at the University of Alaska and as a commissioner of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.