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Congressman Young Honored by Fairbanks North Star Borough for Working to Bring F-35’s to Eielson AFB

Washington, D.C – The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly today honored Alaskan Congressman Don Young for his work to bring two squadrons of OCONUS F-35A fighters to Eielson Air Force Base. In a ceremony that included Borough residents and local media, Mayor Luke Hopkins presented Congressman Young with a resolution thanking him for his amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that identified Eielson AFB as the preferred location for the F-35. To view the FNSB resolution, please click here.

“Last night the Assembly passed a resolution thanking you for the items that you inserted in the National Defense Authorization Act in the House of Representatives,” said Mayor Luke Hopkins today. “They are no small actions and we certainly appreciate it. What’s really important is that they are going to do very strong actions for the Interior of Alaska and the State of Alaska for the military, and we want to thank you for it. Those seven items, that you pushed forward, are going to have incredible results.”

Mayor Luke Hopkins presenting Congressman Don Young with the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly resolution thanking him for his efforts to bring the F-35 to Eielson AFB (click here to watch).

Congressman Young’s amendment expressed the Sense of Congress that the Air Force place emphasis on basing criteria for the F-35, including strategic location, bases that have sufficient range capabilities and airspace for training, the ability to robustly train with our international partners, the presence of existing facilities to support operations, and a limited amount of encroachment. Of the five locations identified to base the F-35, these criteria can only be found at Eielson AFB.

"I would like to thank the Assembly and Mayor Hopkins for this great honor,” said Congressman Don Young. “The strong and vocal support of the community has certainly made my job easy in leading the effort to bring the F-35 to Alaska.  While there are places in the Lower 48 that have said they are not interested in these aircraft, North Pole and Fairbanks have come together with open arms to welcome the F-35.

“I am hopeful that my language in the House-passed Defense Authorization will provide the Air Force with the motivation and proper justification to station the F-35 at Eielson. General Billy Mitchell has said it, I've said it, and now the House of Representatives has unanimously said it - Alaska is strategically the best home for the F-35. All that's left is for the Air Force to say it when they decide to station these aircraft at Eielson."

Additional video:

  • Mayor Hopkins and Congressman Young discussing Eielson AFB’s strategic location, click here.
  • Mayor Hopkins and Congressman Young discussing the Sense of Congress amendment to the National Defense Authorization, click here.
  • Congressman Young discussing his F-35 Amendment to the FY 15 NDAA following final passage, click here.

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