EDITOR'S NOTE: Update 10/28/2015 EIGHT ARCTIC NATIONS SIGN COAST GUARD PACT: Finally we have noticed a major Arctic agreement emerging in the "Coast Guard Forum ' that will be signed next week involving formal cooperation between all eight Arctic region coast guards. See http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2015/10/eight-arctic-nations-sign-coast-guard.html
FORMER COAST GUARD COMMANDANT COMMISSIONED SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR ARCTIC ISSUES
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Official USCG Photo
Retired former Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp has been named a special U.S. State Department representative for Arctic issues. He will be advising the administration on policy in the High Arctic which is rapidly becoming a focus of economic opportunities and Russian territorial expansion, as well as unsettled though less strident territorial issues between the various nations encircling the Arctic ocean. He will probably lead delegations representing the United States at the various conferences on Arctic issues. Retired from the Coast Guard only a couple of months ago, Admiral Papp has had a long standing interest in Arctic issues and experience in the difficulties involved in maintaining a continuous Coast Guard presence there. His task is to advance U.S. interests in the region. Next year the rotating Chair of the Arctic Council made up of eight nations that encircle the Arctic ocean falls to the U.S. and will probably be led by Admiral Papp. The United States has more than a thousand miles of Arctic coast line in Alaska and the state's two Senators have been urging the Administration to name a permanent and expert special envoy for the region.
The high Arctic is believed to hold 13% of the world's undiscovered oil reserves, and up to 30 % of of the undiscovered gas deposits, as well as important fisheries. Secretary Kerry also named Fran Ulmer as a special advisor on Arctic Science and policy. Ulmer is a former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska and once chaired the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.