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Begich Optimistic about F-16’s and F-35’s at Eielson

Senator Begich made the following statement after meeting with General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force today at Eielson Air Force Base:

“After meeting with General Welsh this morning, I am more optimistic than ever that the F-16’s and their crews will remain stationed at Eielson for the long-term.   During our discussion, I emphasized the success of the recent Red Flag exercises. I know General Welsh recognizes the value of exercising with our allies like Japan and South Korea in such an excellent training environment.  The continued saber-rattling from North Korea just underscores the strategic importance of Eielson and I believe this will help Gen. Welsh determine the best placement for the F-35’s.  Based on what I heard today, I expect a decision on both these issues could be reached by late September or early October.”

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