USAF Pursues Plan to Move Eielson F-16s

According to a news report by the Fairbanks News-Miner, Alaskan officials are concerned by the Air Force’s decision to pursue a full environmental impact statement for the proposed transfer of an F-16 squadron from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) told the newspaper, “In my view it means that they [the Air Force] are disregarding the direction from Congress … that essentially put any Eielson activities or force structure changes on pause.” She added, “The Air Force appears intent to go forward with the EIS—that is somewhat troubling.” As part of its Fiscal 2013 budget proposal, USAF wanted to shift or retire some 300 aircraft, but Congress has put such force structure changes on a so-called “strategic pause.” Pacific Air Forces in May disclosed that an initial review shows the Alaskan F-16 move could save the service millions of dollars.