Fairbanks Area Leaders Express Relief Over F-16 Decision

Members of the Congressional delegation are weighing in on the Air Force’s decision to suspend the relocation of the F-16 Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. In a news release, Representative Don Young said he was pleased with the decision. He says “the Air Force had a responsibility to present all the facts and prove to Alaskans that moving these F-16s was the right thing to do.” Alaska Senator Mark Begich was informed of the suspension in a letter from Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz on Tuesday. In the letter, General Schwartz writes that Secretary of Defense, Leon Panneta is directing the Air Force to suspend all force structure changes until Congress completes action on funding appropriations for the military in Fiscal Year 2013.

North Pole Mayor Doug Isaacson is part of the ‘Tiger Team’ that meets weekly to discuss the local impact of the proposed relocation. The suspension doesn’t mean the F-16 squadron won’t move in the future. But, Isaacson says it offers some relief.

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