Begich Launches On-Line Petition to Save Eielson F-16’s
In an ongoing effort to show the U.S. Air Force the proposal to move the F-16 Fighter Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is misguided and not supported by Alaskans, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is launching an on-line petition to help build the case. Begich posted the petition on his website today to give Alaskans an opportunity to be on the record opposing the move.
“As we continue to be frustrated and dismayed with the lack of real information and good answers to our questions about the justification for moving the F-16 squadron, Alaskans tell me they are looking for opportunities to weigh in with the Air Force,” Begich said. “This petition will allow us to show the Air Force that a majority of Alaskans find the proposal for the move to be inappropriate and unacceptable. We know there is power in numbers, and this is just one more tool to show our unity on this issue.”
Begich pointed out that when the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) proposed a similar move in 2005, it was unsuccessful largely because Alaskans worked together to show the Air Force its cost-savings numbers and other calculations were inaccurate.
Begich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been working with the Alaska delegation and the community of Fairbanks to continue to pressure the Air Force to answer questions about the potential cost savings and impacts on military and civilian personnel under the current move proposal. To date, the Air Force has not provided satisfactory answers or a sufficient level of detail about the move including the impacts to the people and their families and the impacts on J-BER and the larger community of Anchorage.
“What we’ve learned is very little analysis has been done at all. In fact, the site assessment team came to Alaska well after the proposal to move the F-16s was announced and is only now gathering information that should have been put together and analyzed well before any proposal was made,” Begich added.
Those interested in signing the petition can do so here.
Copies of the petitions can be signed in Sen. Begich’s offices in Alaska and Washington, DC.