Alaska: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

The Military in Alaska

From the beginning of World War II, the military has played a vital role in Alaska for the defense of the United States, and vital for the protection of Alaska. Alaskans welcomed the military, though from time to time there have been controversies. One such controversy was whether to allow Army and Air Force exercises to take place in parts of the state where they might disturb human or animal populations. Another on-going issue is what to do about the clean-up of areas contaminated by military activity over the last fifty years. As the United States continues to deploy forces around the world to maintain world peace and order, Alaska will continue to be a critical staging and training area. Alaskans will have to decide on ways to build on their long relationship with the military and their activities, both out of practical necessity, and patriotism.

How does knowledge of Alaska’s reliance on the military in the past help us plan for Alaska’s future?