Due to rising global temperatures, ice in the Arctic is melting faster than it ever has. This change affects the security environment in the region.
This weekend, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks will travel to multiple locations in Alaska to discuss quality of life issues with service members and meet with experts who are looking into how climate change will affect the Defense Department's ability to defend America's interests in the region.
During her trip to Alaska, Hicks will visit Eielson Air Force Base, Fort Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh during a briefing today.
"At each installation, the deputy secretary will hold roundtables with service members to discuss quality of life issues, access to mental health care and suicide prevention efforts," Singh said. "She will also meet with senior leaders and tour housing, barracks, childcare, commissaries, health care and recreational facilities to see firsthand how the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force are working to improve quality of life and making sure that we are taking care of our people serving in the Arctic."
Singh said the deputy secretary's visit to Alaska will focus on security issues as well. Hicks will visit the Army's cold weather research facilities in Fairbanks and also the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies in Anchorage to learn more about the effects of climate change on military readiness, as well as research programs focused on improving resilience in the Arctic.