Alaska’s U.S. Senators have introduced legislation to prevent the Air Force transfer of aircraft from Eielson in North Pole to joint base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski’s bill blocks funding for the movement of a 21 jet F-16 fighter squadron. Senator Begich, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, says the measure is aimed at what he calls an unjustified move by the Air Force prior to the start of an upcoming Base Realignment and Closure Commission review.
During a BRAC round in 2005, Eielson was downsized, but spared the loss of the F-16’s, a move which would include the transfer of thousands of personnel to Anchorage. Senator Murkowski says it was just a week ago that the Air Force petitioned Congress for permission to pursue BRACC rounds in 2013 and 2015.
Begich says the Eielson move is one of many proposed for Air Force bases around the country, to save money.
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