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Immediate Release

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks Visits Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies

Attributable to Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon: 

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, today to gain a deeper understanding of the quality-of-life issues facing servicemembers stationed in the Arctic, receive operational updates, and visit the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies. 

Throughout the day, the Deputy Secretary met with servicemembers and toured quality-of-life facilities, to include childcare, lodging, health care, and fitness facilities, to understand how local leaders are addressing servicemember needs and assess where adjustments to DoD policy might enable further improvements. These quality-of-life improvements are part of a wider community-based approach to improving mental health, and reducing harmful behaviors, like suicide.  

During engagements with senior leaders, Deputy Secretary Hicks received a high-level overview of 11th Air Force’s mission and contribution to the Homeland Defense mission to gain an appreciation for climate challenges and their effects on servicemembers, their families, and the mission. She also met with 11th Airborne Division leaders to discuss the challenges associated with standing up the Army’s newest airborne division, and training for joint, multi-domain Arctic operations.  

The Deputy Secretary also received a briefing on the outcomes of Exercise Northern Edge- a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command joint, multinational and multi-domain operation designed to improve interoperability, readiness, and ultimately improve Indo-Pacific security.  Large portions of the exercise took place in Alaska, to include Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Eielson Air Force Base, Allen Army Airfield, King Salmon, Cold Bay, Fairbanks International Airport, Ted Stevens International Airport, and Juneau International Airport. 

At the Ted Stevens Center (TSC) for Arctic Security Studies, the Deputy Secretary learned more about how the center is advancing security priorities in the Arctic by creating international networks of security leaders, promoting and conducting Arctic security research, and conducting related civilian and military training. The Ted Stevens Center was established in June, 2021, and is the newest of six DoD Regional Centers for Security Studies.