Since July 1, two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters have been stationed at Kotzebue. All summer-long, aircrews have rotated in and out, as part of the Coast Guard’s seasonal work throughout the Bering Sea and along the North Slope, an annual operation called Arctic Shield.
Studies suggest most of the people coming to the area with the warplanes will likely offset a decrease in the Fairbanks-area population from cuts in funding for state agencies and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
As the United States approaches the 16th anniversary of military operations in Afghanistan, thousands more troops are readying to deploy. One of the units heading there is the airborne infantry brigade based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.