USS Ted Stevens, the Next Naval Warship

Murkowski Joins Appropriations Chairs to Honor Longtime Alaskan Senator, Halting of Eielson F-16 Move Passes Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearing the midpoint between two major remembrances of Ted Stevens’ life and legacy, the United States Appropriations Committee recommended that the next United States Navy warship be named after the Alaskan of the 20th Century, as they met and approved the 2013 defense appropriations bill.  The provision placing a “strategic pause” on all Air Force structure changes and relocation efforts that Senator Murkowski supported out of subcommittee earlier this week was also maintained in the bill that emerged from the committee.

Last Saturday marked Ted Stevens Day in Alaska; next Thursday will be the second anniversary of his passing. In an emotional moment during the appropriations markup session, Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) called Stevens “a tireless advocate for the military.” Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) commended him for being “old school” and a man of his word. Senator Murkowski said the ship will be a memorial to him and Alaskans appreciate this honor.

(Senator Murkowski discusses Ted Stevens in Appropriations Committee – CLICK HERE for audio)

“Senator Stevens did not play favorites with the various services,” said Murkowski. “He loved them all, he embraced them all, whether you were an airman, a soldier, a coastguardsmen, a sailor; Ted Stevens was there for our military in addition to all of the other passions he had … To be able to recognize his contributions to the state of Alaska and to our country, by recognizing and honoring him through naming a warship, I think is a tribute to him that will long be remembered and appreciated.

Senator Inouye’s entire comments can be heard by clicking here.

Senator Leahy’s entire comments can be heard by clicking here.

The 2013 defense bill that passed out of the Appropriations Committee today includes the following provision that applies to Eielson AFB and all other Air Force unilateral moves:

  • “The Committee directs that none of the funds made available by this Act will be used to make proposed Air Force force structure adjustments unless the committee has expressly approved the Air Force’s proposal in this bill or until after the National Commission on the Future of the Air Force recommendations are provided to congressional defense committees.”