Murkowski Questions Air Force Leadership on Alternative Fuel and Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today in a Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing, questioned Air Force leaders on alternative fuel initiatives in Alaska and proposals to modernize the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) currently under environmental study.

Continuing her leadership on energy issues, Murkowski asked Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley, where the Air Force is headed with alternative fuel, referring specifically to Alaska’s military bases, including a feasibility study for a coal to liquids plan at Eielson Air Force Base.

Sec. Donley indicated that while the Air Force sees itself as a consumer versus a producer of alternative fuels, they are very interested in the use of alternative fuels, and will continue to work with the Department of Defense and Department of Energy on the issue. 

In her questioning, Murkowski also asked Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, about the value and additional capabilities the proposed enhancements to the JPARC would provide to the joint warfighter.

Gen. Schwartz asserted that there is no other location with the unique combination of land and airspace like the JPARC has to offer, adding that he expects the five major exercises hosted by the JPARC each year to continue.  Gen. Schwartz stated the JPARC is a very important place that the joint military team will continue to benefit from.

The JPARC is land, air, and sea areas used by the armed forces in Alaska for training, including major exercises and mission rehearsals, like Alaska Red Flag.  The military is preparing an environmental impact statement to analyze potential consequences associated with enhancements to the JPARC.