Alaska is home to nine active military bases. The largest ones are Elmendorf Air Force Base, Fort Richardson, and Fort Wainwright. These bases offer a vast expanse of space for the Pentagon to run military drills on land and sea. But over time, the security provided by the surrounding ice and snow is lessening due to climate change. This could provide a way for those who wish to harm the United States.
According to USA Today, on May 31, a strange incident occurred. Several military personnel reported that a car full of Chinese people sped through a security checkpoint at Fort Wainwright. Their excuse was that they were lost. However, this type of situation seems to be happening more often in Alaska. As per U.S. officials, numerous Chinese individuals believed to be spies have acted like confused tourists to get a hold of U.S. secrets in recent years.
The specific information about these incidents is kept confidential. In a statement to the media, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said the government considers the safety of American citizens and military bases as a top priority. She mentioned that the department collaborates with different levels of authorities and others to make sure all “bases and installations” in Alaska and elsewhere are safe. Retired Air Force General David Deptula voiced his concern to USA Today. He’s more worried about the possible spy equipment that could be left behind rather than any photos they could take. This equipment might be used to tap into classified conversations.
It’s worth noting that a balloon, suspected to be a Chinese spy tool, crossed into U.S. airspace over Alaska in February.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, in a recent press meeting, expressed concern about China’s “provocative” actions of intercepting U.S. and allied aircraft in international airspace. He warned that if China continues this behavior, things could “rapidly get out of hand.”
This information brings to light the ongoing security challenges in Alaska, making it a crucial area of focus for the U.S. military.