Alaska's Army Presence to Remain Stable, U.S. Army General Tells Murkowski

General Odierno Praises Alaska Family Environment, Training Facilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today questioned United States Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno, asking for certainty that while the Pentagon is envisioning widespread cuts in the Department of Defense, Alaska’s Army presence will remain roughly equal to its current level.

Senator Murkowski referred to comments Odierno made during a recent stop in Hawaii, asking “you mentioned that the number of soldiers that are assigned to the Pacific will generally remain about the same as it is today… Is it fair to assume that the number of soldiers assigned to U.S. Army Alaska will generally be the same as it is today?”

General Odierno confirmed to Senator Murkowski that he had made those statements and telling her “Our plan is not to do much change to the forces in the Pacific. So I would say in general terms, it will be close to what it is today.”

Senator Murkowski: Will troop levels remain the same?

Gen. Odierno: Alaska's "training facilities are incredible"

As a follow-up, Senator Murkowski asked General Odierno to assess the quality of Alaska’s troops, given the fact that Alaska-based soldiers make up over 10 percent of the force in Afghanistan.  The General remarked that “the training facilities are incredible,” adding “the families are taken care of very well up in Alaska.  They love living there.  It's a great base for us because of its location and its ability to respond to the Pacific and other areas as well if needed.”

The Senator posed these questions in a hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.