Murkowski Continues Questioning Air Force on “Problematic” Eielson Proposal

Senator to Air Force Brass: “We’ve Seen This Movie Before”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today questioned Secretary of the United States Air Force Michael Donley and USAF Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz on the reasoning behind their proposed move of the F-16 Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

Calling the proposal “problematic,” Senator Murkowski asked General Schwartz, “We’ve currently got about 400 soldiers at J-BER already in temporary barracks.  By relocating a significant number of airmen and their families to that area, I want to know whether or not we have determined what the cost to house these new airmen at J-BER would be.  How and when we would fund that?”

“We did not do a site survey,” General Schwartz responded.  “That’s the purpose of the undertaking that will go off, I think it starts the 6th of April specifically, but the key thing here is that, as you are well aware that there used to be 3 flying squadrons at Elmendorf and there are 2 now.  And looking at the table top level at the facilities on Elmendorf the conclusion was that both for maintenance and ops and base support that it was possible to reabsorb a 3rd squadron and to do that efficiently.  That is with regard to military family housing and/or dormitory space.”

Clip 1: Site visit request  

Clip 2: Cost savings question 

Clip 3: Environmental impact study?

Senator Murkowski asked this and other questions when Secretary Donley and General Schwartz spoke before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.  (Clips above)