Murkowski Launches "Eielson Closing Argument" Initiative

Senator Creates Webpage to Ensure Every Alaskan Voice is Heard as State Fights Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Though the Eielson F-16 public hearings around Alaska have concluded, Senator Lisa Murkowski wants every concerned Alaskan to know the comment period doesn’t end until March 1st.  Unfortunately, the Air Force has not set up any online system for collecting public comments.  In an effort to give every concerned Alaskan a direct line to the Pentagon before the deadline, Senator Murkowski today is launching the “Eielson Closing Argument” project to compile viewpoints before delivering them to the United States Air Force.

The Eielson Closing Argument can be found as the featured item on Senator Murkowski’s website, also at https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Eielson-Closing-Argument and provides links to:

  • 7+ hours of comments from Alaskans in Palmer, Anchorage, Fairbanks and North Pole.
  • Background information on the poor reasoning being used to justify the move, as well as the actions taken by Senator Murkowski and the rest of the Alaska Delegation.
  • An online form for Alaskans to submit their thoughts on the proposal.

More than 300 Alaskans filled the North Pole High School Auditorium for the Eielson F-16 Scoping Meeting on February 7th. Public Testimony there lasted more than 2 hours.

Just yesterday, Senator Murkowski continued questioning the move (below), pointing out the contradictions in the United States Air Force proposal to move the F-16 Aggressor Squadron to the Pentagon during an Appropriations Committee hearing. Namely: as the Pentagon considers spending cuts, the Air Force has admitted that the proposal to move the Aggressors from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will cost millions in the short term – with long-term savings still in question.

(“Don’t make short-term decisions based on numbers that just don’t hold up!”—CLICK image to watch)

For nearly a year, Senator Murkowski has conducted a campaign to refute the Air Force’s claims that transferring the F-16 Aggressor squadron at Eielson to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson outside of Anchorage would be cost-effective or make sense for our national security. Senator Murkowski believes this move could damage Fairbanks’ economy, undercut our state’s military readiness and overwhelm an already overcrowded Anchorage housing market and fiscally-challenged school system there.