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Begich Presses Air Force for Details On F-16 move from Eielson

At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee to consider civilian nominations yesterday, U.S. Sen. Begich reminded witnesses that the Air Force has presented preliminary cost savings about the move of the Eielson Air Force Base F-16 Squadron BEFORE the site team assessment team visits Alaska in April. The Air Force is proposing to move the F-16 Squadron from Eielson to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, but so far has provided insufficient answers to questions regarding estimated cost savings, personnel reductions, and the impact on both bases.

Sen. Begich said the process seems backward and he is “very nervous about the uncertainty they are sitting in within that community.”

Begich’s exchange with Erin Conaton, the nominee to be Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, begins at about 7 minutes into this video clip.

Prior to the Eielson questioning, Sen. Begich discusses cost overruns within the Department of Defense with Secretary Frank Kendall, the nominee for Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Begich says the cost overruns within DOD are unacceptable and shouldn’t be an accepted business practice. He said the DOD needs to participate in the effort to bring down the nation’s deficit.

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