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Begich Presses Defense Sec. Panetta on New BRAC Process, Moving F-16s from Eielson AFB

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today questioned Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta about the current plan by the military to move the F-16 Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

In a Budget Committee Hearing on the Department of Defense Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2013, Sen. Begich questioned the legality of trying to move the F-16’s outside of the formal BRAC process, and Begich challenged the rationale for suggesting the squadron be moved before the Air Force conducts  a financial analysis of whether it would save money.

Sec. Panetta said he would look into the questions and get back to Sen. Begich.

In the budget hearing, Sen. Begich also talked about the many sectors of the economy that are improving, the need to fully fund the Veterans Administration as veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the need to look at closing military bases overseas before looking within the borders of the U.S. for closures.

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