Walker travels to Pentagon to make case for Alaska troops

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is in Washington, D.C., making the case with the military for restoring proposed personnel cuts.

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Walker says he stressed Alaska’s strategic importance, especially with Russia enhancing its military presence in the Arctic.

Walker says military leaders expressed their strong preference to not be making troop reductions but that the reductions are tied to automatic federal spending cuts, known as sequestration.

The Army told the Alaska congressional delegation July 8 that it planned a reduction of 2,631 paratrooper positions at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage and 75 troops at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks.

The Anchorage base is one of six domestic bases that will lose  1,200 or more soldiers as part of a cost-saving plan to reduce the active-duty force by 40,000 troops over two years.