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Governor Dunleavy encourages Navy SEALs to train in Alaska

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 7:17 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy is encouraging the U.S. Navy to expand SEAL training in Alaska. In a letter to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, Dunleavy invited the military branch to train in Alaska after a Washington state court ruling prevented Navy SEALs from performing training exercises on state park land there.

According to a press release from his office, SEALs do some training here in Alaska already but Dunleavy would like to see more. Dunleavy said Alaska provides the perfect climate for training with frigid water, low visibility, complex underwater terrain “and rigorous land terrain to conduct their special operations exercises.”

“Alaska’s truly a fortress,” Dunleavy said in an interview. “It’s a fort that extends out into the Pacific into the Arctic, and so we’re very close to some of neighbors that, you know, we’re not on the best of terms with right now. And if there was ever a conflict god forbid, this is a lot different than Iowa or Indiana.”

Alaska’s environment mixed with the political climate makes it the perfect place for training, according to the Governor.

“Given what’s happening in the northern hemisphere right now ... with conflicts going on in our proximities to some nefarious neighbors, this would be a great training ground, training venue, also for those reasons,” Dunleavy said.

The Associated Press reported that a judge ruled SEALs won’t be able to use Washington State Parks as training grounds. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission had previous voted to allow that, but the judge found the commission acted outside of its purview.

“You’ve got a lot of open spaces here ... so the SEALs are going to be able to conduct their exercises without folks watching or having a problem with some military exercises going on,” Dunleavy said.

Alaska has thousands of active duty military personnel and has the highest per capita population of veterans in the entire country. Adding the Navy could build on Alaska’s relationship with the military, according to Dunleavy.

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