Murkowski Protects Military From Commissary Price Hike, Interior Sportsmen through Defense Bill

Senator’s Alaskan Priorities Included in National Defense Authorization Act

Senator Lisa Murkowski cast her vote in support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which lays out the Pentagon’s priorities and agenda for the upcoming year.  The bill also incorporates her amendment (attached) that promotes better communication between military installations and sportsmen who utilize military lands during periods in which they are not needed for military activities, in light of the recent Fort Wainwright and Fort Greely hunting grounds calendar dispute.

Proposed Obama administration cuts in commissaries on military bases were prominently debated during consideration of NDAA. The bill also contains the amendment co-sponsored by Senator Murkowski to halt plans to privatize some military commissaries – which some say could hike prices up to 30 percent – until a closer examination of the impacts and costs would be considered. In addition, Murkowski joined with her Defense appropriations subcommittee colleagues in restoring a $322 million proposed reduction in funding for commissaries proposed in the administration’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget.

“Alaska’s military community is a valuable member of our family, and like family members we need to make sure they, their household budgets, and their recreation are looked after and protected,” said Murkowski.  “These two measures will make sure that military members do not face a dramatic increase in costs at the local commissaries they rely on, and will also keep the lines of communication open between Fort Wainwright and the local hunters who recreate on its lands, as well.”

The final bill also includes provisions for improving our Ground Based missile defense capacity at Fort Greely, laying the groundwork for the Long Range Discrimination Radar at Clear Air Force Station, and building long lead time facilities for the impending arrival of the F-35 at Eielson Air Force Base. It also includes provisions inserted by Senator Sullivan in the Armed Services Committee requiring the Pentagon to clearly articulate its strategy for operating in the Arctic.