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  #1  
Old 04 Oct 17, 13:01
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Naval Base in Alaska

The Governor of Alaska is requesting a naval base in Alaska to counter the North Korea threat.

I was surprised to find that Alaska does not have a single US Naval base. Although there are several thousand sailors attached to various units in the state of Alaska. Alaska is home to two Army posts; two Air Force bases; and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which houses Army and Air Force units; the Alaska National Guard; and Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard members. Of course Alaska is home to several Coast Guard stations.
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  #2  
Old 04 Oct 17, 13:19
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I've often thought about this myself and the only thing I can think of is that perhaps the DOD feels that Bremerton, WA is close enough to provide services for Alaska. Also, wouldn't the Arctic weather/climate have a serious impact on ship operations?
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Old 04 Oct 17, 13:25
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Originally Posted by ChrisF1987 View Post
I've often thought about this myself and the only thing I can think of is that perhaps the DOD feels that Bremerton, WA is close enough to provide services for Alaska. Also, wouldn't the Arctic weather/climate have a serious impact on ship operations?
Correct. There is also a carrier based at Everett, WA. Trident subs are based at Bangor, WA.
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Old 04 Oct 17, 14:24
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The late fall-winter-early spring seasons in Alaskan waters are for the whales, seals and walruses. Naval assets in those waters at those times of year would be severely hampered by weather conditions. Also, given the fact that the NORKs don't have anything close to a modern navy and also given that any NORK naval vessel could be targeted from land, air or underwater, there's not a huge need for a naval base in Alaska.
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Old 04 Oct 17, 14:55
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There was ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose50 View Post
The late fall-winter-early spring seasons in Alaskan waters are for the whales, seals and walruses. Naval assets in those waters at those times of year would be severely hampered by weather conditions. Also, given the fact that the NORKs don't have anything close to a modern navy and also given that any NORK naval vessel could be targeted from land, air or underwater, there's not a huge need for a naval base in Alaska.
... a large USN facility on the island of Adak (the former Davis AFB) in the Aleutians, which operated ASW & surveillance aircraft during the Cold War. The NAF was closed in 1997 then turned over to the state of Alaska and is used as an airport.

Also, the RCN's Pacific Fleet is based at CFB Esquimalt, which is also home to Joint Task Force Pacific HQ; small potatoes maybe, but handy in the area between WA state and AK.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CFB_Esquimalt
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Old 04 Oct 17, 16:47
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Given the troubles we're having with N.Korea, China and Russia we should look at building a naval base in Alaska.
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  #7  
Old 04 Oct 17, 19:57
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Why can't the Navy base a few ships at the Coast Guard stations?

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  #8  
Old 04 Oct 17, 20:03
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Originally Posted by Merkava188 View Post
Given the troubles we're having with N.Korea, China and Russia we should look at building a naval base in Alaska.
Why? In most naval conflicts the action usually takes place some distance from naval bases which need to be placed with some strategic thought. You need to be able to intercept any enemy some distance from the coast they may be intending to attack and having your base on that coast does not necessarily best serve.
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Old 04 Oct 17, 20:04
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We have units forward based in Japan. We have one carrier, 3 Ticos and 7 Burkes in Yokosuka. No need for anything in Alaska.
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Old 10 Oct 17, 17:26
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Elmendorf/Richardson is one of the two Army/Air Force bases you mentioned.
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Old 10 Oct 17, 20:38
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Absolutely no reason to build a Navy base in Alaska. The weather would be a nightmare for maintenance for a good chunk of the year, not to mention getting ships in and out of port. In time of war you can put Destroyers at coast guard stations or civilian shipping ports if you need operations going on up there and ships just don't have time to go to Washington State and back.

Not to mention the sheer cost of constructing a naval base in that sort of environment, shipping in the supplies and parts for the ships, shipping in the tons of supply needed daily by the base itself, and so on.....it's just prohibitive. Alaska is a 'forward operations area' due to geography. Bases should be as few and far between as possible......
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Old 10 Oct 17, 23:09
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Yeah Anchorage has already got a busy deepwater port handling huge tankers, so in time of war naval vessels could put in there to refuel and re-arm if they had to. I don't know if the navy maintains a couple of warehouses up there full of the stuff but I'd be surprised if they didn't.
PS- Russia's big naval base at Vladivostok is just a stone's throw from its border with N.Korea so I bet Putin's sweating a bit..

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Old 11 Oct 17, 15:10
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I expect it was a play to get some jobs into the State.
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Old 11 Oct 17, 17:08
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I expect it was a play to get some jobs into the State.
Precisely. Millions of dollars to Alaska's construction, shipping, and service industries.

IOW....Pork Barrel Spending.

I hope that the Executive Branch denies and continues to deny this request....drain that swamp.
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Old 20 Oct 17, 15:12
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I could see home-porting an Amphibious ready group like Expeditionary Strike Group Seven, a Marine Expeditionary Unit, and a Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron up there, instead of four expeditionary strike groups home-ported in San Diego. They could park in the Port of Anchorage next to Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson, call it Naval Base Anchorage. USN and USMC aircraft can be cobased at Naval Air Station Elmendorf/Elmendorf Air Base with Air Force F-22A's next to Marine Corps F-35B's! It would be a good thing to have Arctic Warfare specialized Marines and Sailors. Naval warfare happens in the cold too. Wasn't long ago the US had to evict some Japanese trespassers out of Alaska and the cold weather experience will help if needed in a North Korean winter. There is a legend about some Marines at some reservoir over there. Next time, they will be prepared because they live in train in the coldest, wildest state in the union. Also it would be interesting to see how well the Navy and the Marines can maintain their ships, aircraft and armored vehicles, especially the F-35, Osprey and M1 Abrams. Equipment no other branch has that far north.
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