U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today released the following statement after the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee adopted the Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2013 which prevents the Air Force from transferring the F-16 Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The Appropriations Committee echoed language adopted by the Senate Armed Services Committee in May.
"I am pleased to see the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee also included language placing a moratorium on the proposal to relocate the F-16s from Eielson Air Force Base to JBER.
"Although the Air Force no longer intends to execute the proposal in Fiscal Year 2013 per General Schwartz's commitment to me in a letter on June 26th, it is imperative the Air Force understands all of Congress will band together to halt the proposal legislatively if it is proposed outside a BRAC process again in the future."
In May, the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which Begich is a member, adopted language in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 prohibiting the Air Force from carrying out the relocation of the F-16's. On June 6, Sen. Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye and Ranking Member Thad Cochran requesting they include similar language in the appropriations bill for DOD.
Congressman Don Young secured language in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 which will force the Air Force to do a thorough analysis before proposing the Eielson realignment plan again.