ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – U.S. military officials say melting sea ice, increased shipping and shifting defense priorities are factors in deciding whether to re-establish permanent facilities in Alaska’s Bering Sea region.

Alaska Public Media reported Thursday that the Native regional Aleut Corporation owns much of the land on Adak Island and is promoting a military return to the Aleutian Islands.

Navy spokesperson Lt. Rochelle Rieger says a potential permanent base in Alaska is under consideration, but no decisions have been made.

The Pentagon closed a large naval air base on Adak in the 1990s, but the Navy and Marine Corps recently held large-scale exercises there to test cold-climate capabilities.

The Aleut Corporation’s military liaison says the Navy’s return would contribute to the revival of the small civilian community on the island.

Information from: KSKA-FM,