Alaska Senators Seek No Funding for Eielson F16 Move

Letter to appropriators call Air Force proposal costly and unjustified

In their continuing effort to get the U.S. Air Force to drop its proposal to move the 18th Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), U.S. Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski are requesting no money be allocated for the move.

In a letter to Sen. Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Defense in the Senate Appropriations Committee and Sen. Thad Cochran, Vice Chairman of the Committee, Begich and Murkowski request language be included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2013 “explicitly prohibiting the Air Force from obligating or expending funds” for relocation of F16s from Eielson.

“To date no comprehensive analysis has been conducted through the future years defense program to substantiate claims of cost savings,” the senators write. “In fact, Air Force leadership initially claimed the proposal would achieve cost savings beginning in Fiscal year 2013. Yet a recent Pacific Air Force Site Activation Task Force (SATAF) reported disclosed implementation of the proposal in Fiscal year 2013 will cost the taxpayers approximately $5.65 million or more.”

The letter continues with an outline of the various problems with the Air Force proposal that both senators have been pointing out for months, including violating existing base closure and realignment law and policies, and compromising the viability of one of the nation’s most strategic air bases.

“We strongly urge you to consider explicitly prohibiting funds for this unjustified, costly and ill-conceived proposal,” the senators conclude in the letter.