Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
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Arctic Port

  • Several U.S. Navy warships were dispatched to the Aleutian Islands last week, after 11 Chinese and Russian military vessels were found operating in the region. The exact location of the foreign ships was not disclosed.
  • The United States Army is scheduled to visit Unalaska in April, following up on a trip they made in 2020 to assess the community’s infrastructure needs, as well as Unalaska’s ability to host a larger military presence. It’s part of a Department of Defense program called Innovative Readiness Training, or IRT, and is designed to train civil affairs soldiers while also providing service or aid to local communities.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday it had received funding approval for the Unalaska Bay dredging project, which aims to clear a channel through an underwater shoal at the entrance to Iliuliuk Bay, just outside Dutch Harbor and the Unalaska Spit.
  • King crab and snow crab fishery closures, the Makushin Geothermal Project, and developing Dutch Harbor as an Arctic port: Unalaska has big things in the works, both in terms of opportunities and challenges. And the steps local leaders take in the next few years could change the community’s path for decades. Each year, representatives from Unalaska travel to Washington, D.C. to advocate on behalf of the city’s interests. Unalaska City Councilmember Shari Coleman was on the latest lobbying trip in December. She sat down with KUCB to talk about Unalaska’s priorities.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball calls Honolulu home, but recently it’s seen a lot of action in the Aleutians. Just last month while on a routine patrol, the vessel encountered a group of Russian and Chinese warships traveling together through the Bering Sea. The Kimball’s commander, Capt. Thomas D’Arcy, recalled the encounter during a port call in Unalaska last weekend.D’Arcy didn’t comment on the strategic implications of the foreign warships the Kimball encountered last month. But he said the cutter is staged for just about anything and will continue monitoring the area for foreign military activity.
  • The world’s attention is focused on Russia’s European border, but tensions are also building on the country’s far eastern border with the United States. And it's a conflict that’s been simmering for decades. Melting ice and thawing permafrost in the Arctic are opening previously inaccessible resources, like oil and minerals. That’s leading Arctic nations like Russia, the United States and Canada to focus increased attention on the region. And Alaska has a front row seat.
  • Representatives from the City of Unalaska are traveling to Washington, D.C. next week. The federal lobbying trip is a chance for city leaders to meet with Washington delegation members, and make a case for the island’s top legislative and financial needs. Council member Dennis Robinson serves as the Vice Mayor of Unalaska, and he’ll be on that trip. He sat down with KUCB’s Theo Greenly to talk about what he hopes to accomplish in Washington.