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Governor Parnell Establishes Alaska Military Force Advocacy and Structure Team


December 30, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today signed Administrative Order 253, creating the Alaska Military Force Advocacy and Structure Team (AMFAST). AMFAST’s mission is to retain and build on Alaska’s current military force capability for active duty, reserve, National Guard and Coast Guard members.

“With declining federal funding and Alaska’s continuing strategic importance to our nation’s security, we need a team of highly qualified individuals working to maintain military missions in Alaska, and to help us expand or acquire new missions,” Governor Parnell said.

The purpose of the AMFAST team is to provide recommendations for a statewide plan to retain the current military force capability and to acquire future missions and infrastructure that will benefit national security and provide economic opportunity.

AMFAST’s task is to identify strategies for:

  • Maintaining existing military missions in Alaska;

  • Acquiring expanded or new military missions; and

  • Coordinating state infrastructure development to maximize federal military investment.

AMFAST will be chaired by Brigadier General Thomas H. Katkus, commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Other members include retired General Joe Ralston, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Jim Dodson, president and CEO, Fairbanks Economic Development; Mark Hamilton, president, University of Alaska; former Alaska Commerce Commissioner Loren Lounsbury; and Patrick Gamble, president, Alaska Railroad.

To support the work of AMFAST and to provide counsel and recommendations for its strategic plan, Governor Parnell established an advisory committee. The committee will be made up of designees from numerous chambers of commerce and mayors or their designees from Fairbanks, Anchorage, North Police and Kodiak, and a number of the governor's commissioners.

AMFAST’s short-term plan is due in March, and its more comprehensive long-term plan is due by July 1.

A copy of Administrative Order 253 is available at: http://gov.state.ak.us/pdf/AO253_Dec30-2009.pdf

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