Alaskan Congressman Don Young released the following statement today in response to the Pacific Air Force’s Site Activation Task Force (SATAF) report on the proposed transfer of the F-16 Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson:
“Since first hearing of the Air Force’s plans to move the 18th Aggressor Squadron, I have requested two things from the Air Force. First, that they consult local leaders, especially those in Fairbanks. Second, that they justify the data behind the proposed move – mainly the cost versus benefit numbers. After much prodding, I am pleased that the Air Force is working with and engaging local leaders, but I am still concerned that the numbers still do not add up.
“Today, after seeing the first real data behind this move, I believe there are still many important questions that remain unanswered. Before finalizing this move, the Air Force must prove to me and to all Alaskans that this move will not require additional and expensive construction, will not adversely affect U.S. national security or readiness, and will not leave Alaskan airmen literally out in the cold as they try to find housing in a saturated Anchorage housing market.
“Moving forward, the Air Force must demonstrate that the Alaska National Guard 168th Refueling Wing remains mission capable and that Eielson, as one of the most strategically important refueling bases in the world, remains strong and is not part of some ‘backdoor BRAC’ process. Eielson is too important to Fairbanks, too important to Alaska, and too important to the safety and security of our great nation.”