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Russian, Chinese military vessels operate near Alaskan Aleutian Islands again

Recent incursions by Chinese and Russian naval vessels have sparked interest in augmenting US Coast Guard and other US naval forces in Alaskan waters. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

Eleven military vessels from China and Russia operated in US waters near the Alaskan Aleutian Islands during the previous week, Alaskan senators confirmed on 5 August.

Similar flotillas from either China or both countries have been seen and shadowed by US naval vessels in the preceding two years. US Coast Guard cutters tracked and surveilled the foreign ships as the vessels transited the region.

“We have been in close contact with leadership from Alaskan Command for several days now and received detailed classified briefings about the foreign vessels that are transiting US waters in the Aleutians,” Senator Lisa Murkowski said in the 5 August statement.

“This is a stark reminder of Alaska's proximity to both China and Russia, as well as the essential role our state plays in our national defence and territorial sovereignty,” Murkowski said. “Incursions like this are why we are working so hard to secure funding and resources to expand our military's capacity and capabilities in Alaska, and why our colleagues must join us in supporting those investments.”

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