Alaska Delegation: Air Force Overlooking Several F-16 Impacts
Congressional Delegation Seeks Extra Time for Additional DEIS Input, Including Mountain View Community
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaska’s Congressional Delegation is reaching out to the United States Air Force and highlighting several additional concerns that need to be addressed as they conduct their Draft Environmental Impact Statement Review surrounding the proposed transfer of the F-16 Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
In a letter (attached) to the Acting Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and Congressman Don Young point out that both impacted cities are against the idea; the real estate impact on Anchorage would hit lower income households worst; the Mountain View community would suffer from a rise in jet-related noise pollution, and the Air Force needs to extend its comment period to allow the Mountain View Community Council to meet in order to have those Alaskans fully heard.
- The infusion of additional military personnel into Anchorage would stress an already stressed housing market potentially creating a cascading effect in which lower income Anchorage residents would be pushed into the shelter system, displaced from their homes by higher income service members competing for scarce apartment units.
- The President of the Mountain View Community Council testified at the Anchorage hearing that the Air Force’s plan to relocate the 18th Aggressor Squadron to JBER was of great interest to his community. He complained that the Air Force did not reach out to his community regarding the proposal and would like for the matter to be discussed at the next regularly scheduled council meeting on August 12th. That is unfortunately ten days after the DEIS public comment period closes.
<>·The hearings were generally well attended enabling a cross section of Alaskans to comment on the DEIS and its alternatives. Those Alaskans who took a moment out of their too brief Alaskan summer to testify overwhelmingly expressed support for the “No Action” alternative. Although it was expected that the Fairbanks and North Pole communities would turn out in large numbers to oppose the Air Force’s proposal, and they did not disappoint, some of the most passionate testimony in opposition to the proposal came from the Mountain View community of Anchorage, just outside the gates of JBER. The key concerns at this hearing were noise and lack of available housing– impacts which testifiers thought were understated in the DEIS.