June 10 (UPI) -- The Defense Department announced this week that it's creating a sixth regional center to focus on issues related to the Arctic, according to a press release.
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said during a briefing on Wednesday at the Pentagon that the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security will provide a new venue for collaboration. The location has not yet been chosen.
"Defense Department regional centers are international academic venues for bilateral and multilateral research, communication and training, with the goal of building strong, sustainable, international networks of security leaders," Kirby said.
It will work with Arctic nations including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.
The move comes after the U.S. Northern Command told lawmakers in April that the United States needs to develop more persistence in the Arctic region if it wants to be a player there.
In April, the Pentagon acknowledged that it's aware of Russian military activity in the Arctic, and that it is committed to protecting U.S. interests in the region.
The new center's focus will be on supporting the U.S. Interim National Security Strategic Guidance and tackling shared challenges like climate change.