The US Navy’s dock landing ship USS Comstock pulled into port on Tuesday morning for a four-day visit. The ship is taking part in a special Arctic training being held this month in the Gulf of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.
The training, Arctic Expeditionary Capabilities Exercise (AECE) 2019 is designed to ensure navy ships and personnel have experience responding to disasters in Alaska and other relatively isolated parts of the country. The training also represents the Navy’s increasing presence in Alaska as Arctic ice melts and protecting the far north becomes more of a priority.
While in port, some 40 of the ship’s 350 sailors will be participating in community service projects at the Baptist Mission and East Elementary School, according to the ship’s captain Cmdr. Kevin Culver. The ship leaves for training exercises in Seward and Anchorage on Thursday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Culver led Mayor Pat Branson and several other city and borough personnel, as well as representatives from Discover Kodiak and the Chamber of Commerce on a tour of the Comstock.
The Comstock will be open to the public for guided tours on Wednesday from 2 pm to 7 pm.