The Department of Defense announced the appointment of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Randy “Church” Kee as the first Director for the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Jan. 18. The center is the newest of six existing DoD Regional Centers for Security Studies, and prior to Kee’s appointment he served as the senior adviser for Arctic security affairs and supported the center’s establishment and initial activities.
Kee has considerable political-military, defense policy and security cooperation experience. In 2020, the President of the United States appointed Kee as a Commissioner to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, and from Jan. 4, 2016, to Aug. 22, 2021, he served as the Executive Director of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence in Maritime Research, hosted by the University of Alaska. During his 30-year military career, Kee led at the squadron, group, wing, and Air Operations Center levels. Kee’s staff assignments include U.S. Transportation Command, HQ USAF, and the U.S. Joint Staff in both Operations plus Strategic Plans and Policy directorates. He is a command pilot and prior qualified navigator, and logged 4,700 flying hours, 700 of which were in combat (Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan). While in uniform he contributed to the U.S. Arctic Strategy, supported domain awareness technology development, and defense support to regional crisis response. He culminated his military service as Director of Strategy, Policy, Planning and Capabilities for U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
“Each of my overseas experiences I saw firsthand the power of security cooperation and building partner capacity, working together as allies and partners,” said Kee. “The value proposition of security cooperation is that is gives the United States our asymmetric advantage over our competitors especially when we think of the world’s greatest alliance in the history of mankind, NATO.”
Established on June 9, 2021, the mission of the TSC is to build strong, sustainable, domestic and international networks of security leaders and promote and conduct focused research on Arctic security to advance DoD security priorities in the Arctic region. In order to achieve this mission, the TSC leverages it’s three primary pillars of education, research, and engagement. By advancing a network of civilian and military practitioners the TSC is able to promote understanding and providing collaborative security solutions for the Arctic region.
“I’m privileged and honored to serve as the director of the Stevens Center.” Kee said. “Strategically, the center will benefit by having a duly appointed director with the authorities therein to execute what’s been provided by congress in Section 342 and 2611 of Chapter 16, Title 10 US Code.”
As the TSC marches forward to full operational status later this year, Kee and the Stevens Center team will continue to build out key programs and initiatives that will align to the National Strategy for the Arctic Region and forthcoming DoD Arctic Strategy.
“The Stevens Center is specifically called out in the 2022 National Strategy for the Arctic Region and again in the Implementation Plan to leverage our convening authority across our three mission pillars: executive education, research and analysis, and strategic engagement.” Kee said “This is something very unique and we are honored as a center to contribute to the national level strategy.”
Kee concluded by thanking TSC executive agent, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and sister center the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Asia-Pacific Security Studies for their essential role in the center’s early success.
“We would not have been able to achieve what we have achieved had it not been for some wonderful folks at DSCA and the Daniel K Inouye Center. Their unbridled support helped us get to where we are today.”
Courtesy Photo| Director Randy “Church” Kee at the Alaska Defense Forum, August 2023, in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Department of Defense announced the appointment of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Randy “Church” Kee as the first Director for the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies located on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Jan. 18. The center is the newest of five existing DoD Regional Centers for Security Studies, and prior to Kee’s appointment he served as the senior adviser for Arctic security affairs and supported the center’s establishment and initial activities. (Courtesy Graphic) View Image Page