Begich Pushes for More F22s at Elmendorf Air Force Base
Recognizing the strategic importance and vital air defense mission of Alaska, Sen. Mark Begich is pushing the Air Force to increase the number of F22 fighter jets stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base.
In order to achieve efficiency and meet national security mission, the Air Force has commenced a re-examination of F22 locations nationally to help achieve efficiency in their stationing and optimize our national security. Elmendorf is a candidate base for more F22s.
“With an unrivaled strategic location and a tested and proven core of military personnel at the Anchorage base, there are few locations as compelling for more F22s than Elmendorf Air Force Base,” Begich said. “I hope that the Air Force will recognize what famed Gen. Billy Mitchell did a half century ago, that Alaska is ‘the most strategic place in the world’.”
In a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norman Schwartz, Sen. Begich advocated on behalf of Elmendorf by recognizing the many military missions and training exercises regularly conducted in Alaska. Sen. Begich recognized the unique partnership between the active duty and reserve components of Elmendorf, a partnership that helps the Air Force meet its goals of joint force integration.
“An optimal number of F-22 PAA will ensure Alaska’s Arctic Warriors continue to provide combat ready airmen and aircraft to meet combatant commander requirements on time and on target,” Sen. Begich wrote.
In May, Elmendorf Air Force Base was awarded the Commander-in-Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence. The 2010 award recognized the men and women of Elmendorf for doing the “best job to complete the mission with what resources are available.”
An announcement on the F22s is expected in August.
Posted: June 9, 2010