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Begich Joins Lt. Gen. O’Reilly for Missile Defense Presentation

Begich Alaska trip next week includes Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich will join Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O'Reilly, Director for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for a presentation next week to Commonwealth North in Anchorage. The two will be speaking Tuesday, Jan. 12 from 12 - 1 pm at a luncheon at the Dena'ina Center on the importance and the future of the missile defense system.

The Missile Defense Agency ground-based interceptor system at Fort Greely, Alaska is part of the critical strategic military infrastructure in Alaska. After initial objections from the Obama Administration, Sen. Begich was successful in securing funding in two recent defense bills for completion of silos at Fort Greely's Missile Field #2 and an endorsement of continued missile defense testing.

"I appreciate Lieutenant General O'Reilly's willingness to come to Alaska to talk about the missile defense program as it is so important to our nation's defense picture and to the military structure in Alaska," Begich said. "As I've worked to gain support for the program in Congress, Lieutenant General O'Reilly will go further in depth to discuss the program right here in the state."

In addition to Tuesday's Commonwealth North speech in Anchorage, Sen. Begich will spend several days in Alaska for a variety of meetings and events next week including:

Kenai - Wednesday, Jan. 13

9 - 10 am        KSRM Radio - 920 AM - taking calls in studio on "Sound Off"

12 noon           Kenai/Soldotna Chamber of Commerce speech, Kenai Merit Inn

Fairbanks - Thursday, Jan 14

1:30 pm           USDA Rural Development Roundtable discussion, Alpine Lodge

Residents and business owners will discuss ways to accelerate job growth in rural America with Sen. Begich and officials with USDA. This is a follow-up to the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth President Obama hosted at the White House Dec. 3, 2009.

Anchorage - Saturday, Jan. 16

7  pm               Covenant House Fire & Ice Ball, Anchorage Downtown Marriott

Anchorage-  Sunday, Jan 17

3:30 pm           Martin Luther King Day of Service Holiday Commemoration, speaker, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts

7 pm                Alaska Sea Life Center Gala, Dena'ina Center

Anchorage - Monday, Jan. 18

11:30 am         Martin Luther King Day of Service Legal Clinic, Mt. View Community Center- luncheon speaker. 

Hosted by the Alaska Bar Association and Alaska Court System, there will be a free all-day legal clinic with volunteer attorneys providing advice in the areas of family, landlord-tenant laws and public benefits laws. A noon luncheon entitled "Tribute to King" will feature presentations and comments from state and local leaders.

1: 30 pm          Alaska Marine Science Symposium, speaker, Hotel Captain Cook, Discovery Ballroom

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