PACAF: Proposed Move of Eielson’s F-16s Would Save Millions

After an initial outlay of $5.6 million, the Air Force would save $14.6 million from Fiscal 2013 to Fiscal 2017 by moving the 18th Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, near Fairbanks, Alaska, to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, near Anchorage, according to a newly released Pacific Air Forces report. Part of the savings would come from the reduction of 81 military positions, states PACAF’s May 31 release on the report. PACAF dispatched a site activation task force to both bases in April to study the overall impact of the proposed move. The Air Force also expects there would be additional savings of $227 million through Fiscal 2017 based on proposed manpower adjustments in base operating support at Eielson, according to the release. Brig. Gen. Mark McLeod, PACAF’s director of logistics, said Eielson “is, and will continue to be, a valuable strategic location.” For example, the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Air Refueling Wing will continue to operate from there, he noted. But Alaska lawmakers have not embraced the proposal. Sen. Mark Begich (D), for example, has called it a “back-door BRAC” (see below). (PACAF report; caution, large-sized file.) (See also PACAF infographic)