Sullivan Hosts Secretary of Defense Mattis in Alaska

Visit Ft. Greely, Eielson Air Force Base

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, AK  – At the invitation of U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Secretary of Defense James Mattis traveled to see firsthand a number of Alaska-based military assets and missions, including air combat capabilities at Eielson Air Force Base and America’s missile defense infrastructure at Ft. Greely.

“I am honored that Secretary Mattis accepted this important invitation to visit Alaska,” said Senator Sullivan. “Today, Secretary Mattis saw firsthand that Alaska is the cornerstone of our nation’s missile defense and hub of combat air power. From the 40 current Ground Based Missile Interceptors plus the new missile field being constructed at Ft. Greely, to the ongoing Red Flag exercises at Eielson – Alaska’s military might was on full display. I believe this was an extremely valuable visit, one that allowed Secretary Mattis to gain a more robust understanding of how the geostrategic location of our military in Alaska, combined with the best trained soldiers and airmen, helps defend our country against in the Asia-Pacific, the Arctic, Europe, and the rest of the world.”

SecDef Sullivan Presser

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis answers a question during a press conference June 25, 2018, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Mattis and Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan held a press conference after a visit to Fort Greely, Alaska (Click image or here to watch)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)


SecDef Sullivan Flight Line

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (Click image or here to watch).

(DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)


Sullivan SecDef Presser

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis speaks with Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan on June 25, 2018 on the Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, flight line. Mattis and Sullivan held a joint press conference after a visit to Fort Greely, Alaska.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)



  • Secretary Mattis’ visit to Alaska – his first as the Secretary of Defense – comes following a request by Senator Sullivan in January 2017 during the Senate confirmation process.  
  • As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Sullivan has been a strong advocate and leader on the need to bolster America’s missile defense. In this year’s FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), he worked to included eight missile defense provisions including the first-time requirement to both develop and deploy a layer of space-based sensors. 
  • In last year’s NDAA, Senator Sullivan worked to authorize 20 additional GBMI’s (brand new missile field) at Ft. Greely, which was fully funded by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December 2017.
  • Working alongside Senator Murkowski and Congressman Young, Senator Sullivan over the past three-plus years has been able to authorize and secure nearly $1.3 billion in military construction funding for Alaska.



  • Immediately after returning from Ft. Greely, AK aboard three U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, Secretary Mattis and Senator Sullivan held a brief media availability to discuss their trip to Alaska. To watch, CLICK HERE. To download, CLICK HERE.
  • For pictures of Secretary Mattis’s visit to Alaska with Senator Sullivan, CLICK HERE.
  • For B-Roll footage of Secretary Mattis’ visit to Alaska, CLICK HERE.