Former Coast Guard chief tapped as Arctic diplomat

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Former Coast Guard chief tapped as Arctic diplomat
General Mark Welsh, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, from left, speaks with Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Navy chief of naval operations, Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., U.S. Coast Guard commandant, and General Frank J. Grass, chief of the U.S. National Guard Bureau, ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Obama offered modest steps to chip away at the country's economic and social challenges in a State of the Union address that reflects the limits of his power to sway Congress. Photographer: Larry Downing/Pool via Bloomberg
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., left, introduces Vice President Joe Biden during commencement for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., Wednesday, May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. speaks during a reenlistment ceremony before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
From left: US President Barack Obama, Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp, and Superintendent of the US Coast Guard Academy Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe listen to the national anthem during the commencement May 18, 2011 at the United States Coast Guard Academy's Leamy Hall Auditorium in New London, Connecticut. Obama will deliver the commencement speech. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG, Commandant of the Coast Guard with wife attend the 2011 USO Gala and USO Service Member of the Year Awards at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on October 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Robert J. Papp attends the 2011 Centennial Of Naval Aviation Gala at the National Building Museum on December 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)
This 2006 image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows President Obama's nominee to become Coast Guard commandant, Vice Admiral Robert Papp Jr. An internal memo from Vice Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., says that starting in 2012, he would slash funding for programs in the agency's homeland security plan, including patrols and training exercises. (AP Photo/US Coast Guard)
The schooner Maud, with which Capt. Roald Amundsen, discoverer of the South Pole, hopes to reach the North Pole in 1924. It is frozen in winter at Aton Island off Siberia in 1923. (AP Photo)
CANADA - APRIL 07: Alex Morales pulls a sled over the sea-ice in front of Thumb Mountain on northern Canada's Ellesmere Island in April 2006. Ice Warrior expedition members pulled sleds 200 miles to get to the Geomagnetic North Pole. Source: Alex Morales/Bloomberg News (Photo by Alex Morales/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Capt. Roald Amundsen and one of his companions making observations during Arctic Exploration Dec. 6, 1955. (AP Photo)
UNSPECIFIED - MAY 25: Umberto Cagni (1863-1932) and the Polar expedition ship crew during an expedition to the North Pole, 1899-1900. Paris, Bibliothèque Des Arts Decoratifs (Library) (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s departure for the North Pole May 1926. (AP Photo)
Ralph Plaisted, suburban St. Paul, Minn. insurance man, points to the spot north of Baffin Bay which will serve as base camp in his second drive to reach the North Pole via snowmobile, Feb. 21, 1968 in Minneapolis. Plaisted's party, which left for Canada today, was forced to turn back last year when the polar ice began to break up. (AP Photo/Robert Walsh)
The body of Able Seaman John Hartnell, a crew member of the Arctic expedition led by Captain Sir John Franklin in 1845, is seen buried in the permafrost soil of Beechey Island, Nunavut, Canada, Sep. 23, 1986. (AP Photo)
The airship Norge floats above Spitzbergen, Norway, in May 1926, before an expedition over the North Pole by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. On May 11, 1926 Amundsen and his crew, including Italian Umberto Nobile who constructed and piloted the ship, departed in the Norge. Seventy-two hours later they landed at Teller, Alaska, becoming the first people to fly over the pole and confirming there was no land there. (AP Photo)
Ralph Plaisted, seated, leader of the first surface expedition to reach the North Pole, poses with other members of the party and a flag they carried, as they changed planes in Chicago en route from Montreal to Minneapolis, April 27, 1968. From left to right are George Cavouras, Jerry Pitzl, Weldy Phipps, Art Aufderheide, Walt Pederson, Jean Luc Bombardier; and Don Powellek. (AP Photo/Paul Cannon)
Five of the twenty International Geophysical Year (IGY) scientists who were rescued from a polar ice cap are a tired group as they attend a press conference on their arrival at Westover Air Force Base, Mass., on Nov. 8, 1958. Left to right: Reid Neufer, Portland, Oregon; Jorge Scholten, Argentina; Tom Stetson, Belmont, Mass., Arnold Hanson, U. of Washington and Johnson, (first name and home town unavailable). (AP Photo/Frank C. Curtin)
Part of the membership of the American Polar Basin Expedition, which plans to explore the North Pole in an attempt to provide better chances for survival for pilots forced down in that area, look over map of the arctic region at the expedition’s offices, 501 Fifth Avenue, New York, on Dec. 15, 1954. Announcement of the expedition, which is to be privately financed, was made by arctic explorer, Col. John F. Stanwell-Fletcher. From left are: Dr. W.A. Swanker, second in command of expedition, New York City; Hugo Neuburg, Yonkers, N.Y., Physicist; Melville P. Cummin, New York City, quartermaster-artist; Col. Stanwell-Fletcher, commander, New York City; his wife, Peggy Keenan, Spearfish, S.D., who will serve as recorder-announcer-film producer; Emmett Murphy, Wantagh, L.I., N.Y., motion picture writer; C. Michael Adragra, New York City, educational consultant; and Victor Jurgens, Lake Placid, N.Y., associate producer. (AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)
A polar bear roams on the remote Svalbard archipelago between Norway's northern tip and the North Pole, Sept. 1, 1998. The thousands of polar bears that prowl the archipelago are one of the main reason visitors venture to the frozen islands, which are as far north as one can go on a regularly scheduled airline. The huge and aggressive animals rarely come into Longyearbyen, the capital of the Svalbards, but local authorities recommend that visitors who head out of town take along high-powered rifles,which can be rented at local stores. (AP Photo/Scanpix)
Col. John F. Stanwell-Fletcher, arctic explorer, adjusts the hood on a parka worn by his wife, Peggy Keenan, at the offices of the American Polar Basin Expedition, 501 Fifth Avenue, New York City on Dec. 15, 1954, where he announced at a news conference a $400,000 privately-financed arctic expedition. Col. Stanwell-Fletcher said his expedition to the North Pole plans to explore mysteries of the polar ice pack in an attempt to provide a better chance for survival of pilots forced down in that area. He said his wife will serve as expedition’s recorder, radio announcer and film producer. (AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)
SPITSBERGEN, NORWAY - MARCH 31: The Walking with the Wounded team trekking to the North Pole (L-R) Guy Disney, Simon Daglish, Edward Parker, Jaco Van Gass, Martin Hewitt, Steven Young and team leader Inge Solheim pose for a team photo as they train on the Norwegian Island of Spitsbergen on March 31, 2011 in Spitsbergen, Norway. Harry is training before joining the group of wounded servicemen, for the first five days, trekking to the North Pole to raise money for the charity Walking With The Wounded of which he is patron. Temperatures dropped as low as 25C last night in the camp in a valley near Longyearbyen as the team acclimatised to the extreme conditions, eating an evening meal out of freeze-dried packets and melting ice to drink and cook with. (Photo by David Cheskin/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The crew of the three-masted schooner, USS General A.W. Greeley, is pictured before the ship sailed on an Arctic expedition, at Port Newark, N.J., on July 1, 1937. The Americans plan to parallel work of the Russians at the North Pole. The three-fold purpose of the expedition was to claim land, to study weather and to make color pictures of the aurora borealis. (AP Photo)
Lincoln Ellsworth, veteran of three arctic expeditions, and his bride of a few month as they sailed from San Francisco July 15, 1933 aboard the liner Lurline for New Zealand, from which point he will continue into the Antarctic. Mrs. Ellsworth will remain at Doneden when Ellsworth and his pilot, Bernt Balchen, hop off on their exploration flight. (AP Photo)
LONGYEARBYEN, NORWAY - JUNE 21: Midnight sun reflects off the face of a ridge on the West Coast of Spitsbergen midnight, Midsummer on June 21, 2008 in Longyearbyen, Norway. Longyearbyen is the seat of Norwegian local administration in Svalbard, 620 miles south of the North Pole. It was founded in 1906 by the American John Munroe Longyear who started coal mining here, something that has been an important part of the history ever since. Three important mines currently work on Svalbard. Longyearbyen was only opened for general tourism in 1990 and is a haven for eco-tourists who come to see the abundant polar bears, seals and whales. Svalbard consists of a group of islands ranging from 74' to 81' North, and 10' to 35' East, thus making it the northernmost part of Norway. It boasts the world's northernmost Church, Museum and higher education facilities. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Desmond Holdridge, of New York, 24-year-veteran of sub-arctic and tropical expeditionary research, the Brooklyn Museum’s Brazil expedition sailor from New York on Oct. 9, 1931 for a year’s excavation and exploration in the Delta of the Amazon River and its headwaters. A 32-foot cabin cruiser in which the expedition is to make its 1400-mile trek up the Amazon was hoisted onto the S.S. Sheridan, on which the expedition will sail. In the cabin cruiser small but complete medical and photographic field laboratories will be installed. (AP Photo)
An undated portrait of the late Dr. Fridtjof Nansen a Norwegian arctic explorer who was also high commissioner to the League of Nations for refugees. At one time, he entertained a project to fly over the pole in the Graf Zeppelin, but unfortunately nothing came of proposed voyage. He died around May 13. 1930. (AP Photo)
AT SEA - 2006: North Pole Expedition members raise their arms in victory. (Photo by Kent Kobersteen/National Geographic/Getty Images)
Following a crash of General Umberto Nobile's airship Italia, rescue efforts are underway. This photo, taken by Anthony Fiala, explorer, shows dog travel in the region where Nobile’s party is down in the Franz Josef archipelago, Russia, June 16, 1928. (AP Photo/Anthony Fiala)
This is an undated photo of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who discovered the South Pole in 1911. (AP Photo)
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, seen in this undated photo. It is now recognized that the Norwegian explorer is the man who first flew over the North Pole,and not American Richard Byrd. (AP Photos/HO)
Captain George Wilkins, Australian explorer, decorated with the Gold Medal of the Norwegian Aero Club by Roald Amundsen for his feat in flying over the North Pole regions. . (AP Photo)
Britain's Prince Harry (R) tries out an immersion suit as he joins the Walking with the Wounded team for training on the island of Spitsbergen, situated between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole, on March 30, 2011 for their last days of packing before setting off to walk to the North Pole. The team's expedition will last four weeks and see them cover up to 200 miles (320 kilometres) of the frozen Arctic Ocean on foot, pulling their own equipment in temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Centigrade. AFP PHOTO/David Cheskin/WPA POOL (Photo credit should read DAVID CHESKIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Capt. Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912), British naval officer in an undated photo, Antarctic explorer Commanded expedition (1901-4) to explore Ross Sea region. Set forth in 1910 to seek South Pole. Reached it with four companion on Jan. 18, 1912, one month after Roald Amundsen. All died on return journey but remains and records of epic journey were later recovered. (AP Photo)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, facing camera, visit the Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway, June 25, 1955. The Fram is the famous polar expedition ship in which Roald Amundsen and Fredtjof Mansen made many trips. With the royal pair on the upper deck of the ship are Norway's King Haakon, right, and officials of the Fram. (AP Photo)
The tent and favorite dog of the late Roald Amundsen on exhibition in the Ski Museum, near Oslo, Norway in December 1930. (AP Photo)
CANADA - MAY 25: One of the ships from Sir George Nares's Arctic expedition which was stopped by ice at Cape Prescott, 1875-1876, Canada, 19th century. Yellowknife, Prince Of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
As far as the Poles apart, yet they meet at a reception given by the Oslo Aftenposten June 4, 1928. From left to right are Roald Amundsen, inspector of both South and North Pole regions, Captain George Wilkins who flew from Alaska to Spitzbergen, Captain Otto Sverdrup, famous old sea dog of the Arctic, Carl B. Eielson, who accompanied Wilkins, and Major Tryve Gran of the Scott rescue expedition who found Scott dead in his tent near the South Pole. (AP Photo)
The Bay Maud, a boat which Amundsen had built with the idea of allowing it to freeze in and then float over the North Pole in the ice drift and now permanently anchored at Cambridge Bay, frozen into the ice, from which were sent first reports of the rescue of Col. C. D. H. McAlpine and a party of air explorers who had been missing within the Arctic Circle for eight weeks. Group around the vessel are the rescuing planes at Cambridge Bay, Canada on February 9. (AP Photo)
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s departure for the North Pole May 1926. (AP Photo)
ANTARCTICA - CIRCA 2003: Mausen Strait, Cook and Bradley after capturing a walrus, engraving, scene from an expedition to the North Pole by Frederick Albert Cook (1865-1940), undertaken between 1908 and 1909. Arctic, 20th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 2002: Roald Engelbert Amundsen (1872-1928) expedition to the North Pole: a tent in the camp. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 2003: Hunting walrus, scene from Fridtjof Nansen's (1861-1930) North Pole expedition of 1893-1896. Arctic, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - MAY 25: Umberto Cagni (1863-1932) and the Polar expedition ship crew during an expedition to the North Pole, 1899-1900. Paris, Bibliothèque Des Arts Decoratifs (Library) (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry tries out an immersion suit as he joins the Walking with the Wounded team for training on the island of Spitsbergen, situated between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole, on March 30, 2011 for their last days of packing before setting off to walk to the North Pole. The team's expedition will last four weeks and see them cover up to 200 miles (320 kilometres) of the frozen Arctic Ocean on foot, pulling their own equipment in temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Centigrade. AFP PHOTO/David Cheskin/WPA POOL (Photo credit should read DAVID CHESKIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Expedition leader Rob McCallum announces during a pressconference on September 5, 2009, that the polar search for the legendary Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsens's sea plane 'Latham 47', who crashed 80 years ago outside Spitzbergen in the Arctic Norway, was unsuccesful. The large scale naval expedition searched for the plane, used by Amundsen to join a rescue operation after Italian general and aviator Umberto Nobile had crashed in airship Italia on a return voyage from the North Pole. The flag was borrowed from 'The Explorers Club'. AFP Photo Jan-Morten Bjoernbakk / SCANPIX (Photo credit should read JAN-MORTEN BJOERNBAKK/AFP/Getty Images)
ANTARCTICA - CIRCA 2003: Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930) meets Frederick George Jackson (1860-1938), 17 June 1896, Cape Flora, Franz Josef Land, engraving from a photograph of the North Pole expedition of 1893-1896. Arctic, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
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By LARA JAKES
AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The State Department has named a retired Coast Guard admiral to serve as its first special representative for Arctic issues.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said retired Adm. Robert J. Papp will oversee U.S. policy in the Arctic, a rising focus for world security and economic issues.

The U.S. next year will chair the Arctic Council, which is made up of eight nations that reach into the Arctic Circle.

The council aims to protect the thawing region as its seas open to commercial shipping traffic.

The Arctic is growing hotter faster than any part of the globe. U.S. officials estimate it holds 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil reserves, and 30 percent of undiscovered gas deposits.

Papp served in the Coast Guard for 39 years, including as commandant.

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