The Alaska congressional delegation and many of the state’s political leaders are alarmed by the quick announcement by the Air Force that it intends to move its F-16 fighters from Eielson Air Force Base to Elmendorf. Elmendorf has F-22’s that have never been used in combat and have oxygen problems. The Air Force also says it wants to retire Elmendorf’s four remaining C-130’s.
It was just a week ago that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta proposed another round of military base closures to meet Congressional budget cutting goals and ran into immediate opposition. Eielson was recommended for closure in 2005 but reconsidered.