Funding for Alaska military projects is largely spared from diversion for construction of a southern border wall, under criteria released by the Department of Defense. The criteria, and a list of hundreds of military projects around the world, were issued in response President Trump’s southern border security national emergency declaration last month. Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation president and CEO Jim Dodson says all but two of the projects related to the stationing of F-35 fighters at Eielson Air Force Base, are safe.
”The shooting range at Eielson may be on the list, and then also they had the power plants on there. But the plan for the power plant at Eielson has changed, so Eielson no longer wants those two new boilers,” Dodson said. “So that money is not needed. So out of that six or seven projects that are listed there, only two are included and one is not needed.”
Dodson says the other F-35 preparation projects at Eielson fall outside of fund diversion criteria.
”We do have a lot of projects, but the F-35s are essential to national security,” Dodson said. “So that is a very high priority and because those projects were moving quickly through the queue they were excluded.”
Dodson says the situation is similar for projects at Clear Air Force Station, where a new missile defense radar is being deployed. Meanwhile, he says expansion of a missile defense field at Ft. Greely is targeted for potential diversion of funds, but notes that the project had already been delayed.
”The Missile Defense Agency is developing a new vehicle to go on top of the rocket,” Dodson said. “And they want to have that completely developed and tested before they start this field.”
Dodson says other Alaska military projects which are safe from fund diversion, include two new facilities slated for construction at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. He says work on an AWACs hanger at JBER, scheduled for next fall, hinges on securing additional funds