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In Case You Missed It: Begich Grills Air Force on Proposed Move of F-16s from Eielson AFB

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich yesterday questioned Air Force officials at a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee on the lack of a cost saving analysis on the proposal to move the F-16 squadron from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. In questioning of General Philip Breedlove, Begich insisted the Air Force take a comprehensive look at the potential cost savings, including the long-term impact on other branches of the military, before moving forward with the proposal.

During questioning. Sen. Begich referenced an assessment team visit by the Air Force where community members and others felt the team had already made up its mind on the move and was not in a fact-finding mode as was anticipated by the community.

“Many people who met with the team felt like they had a program of dismantling, versus what are the costs, what are the savings, are they real, are they not? As you see the report come to you, I would hope you ask those hard questions… At the end of the day this is an economic issue, not a strategic issue. It’s about ‘how much are we saving?’ I would hope your folks would take a hard look at are these real savings…”

The full exchange is in this video:

Also, Sen. Begich yesterday met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta where he echoed the importance of a thorough analysis. Begich will also maintain a hold on the promotion of Lieutenant General Herbert J. Carlisle until the Air Force provides comprehensive answers on the proposed F-16 move.

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