Begich Amendment Strengthens Eielson Air Force Base
Affirms critical role in ensuring a ready force
With a goal of providing continued funding and support for Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011 expressing congressional support for the training exercise known as Red Flag.
The amendment, co-sponsored by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), expresses the Sense of the Senate that Alaska and Nevada Red Flag missions are invaluable to the Air Force and Combatant Commanders, and expresses that the Senate wants the Air Force to continue to invest in both ranges.
"We've long known Eielson Air Force Base provides a unique training environment, plays a key role in the defense of our country, and brings a significant impact to the economy in the area," Begich said. "This amendment shows the Department of Defense there is strong congressional support for Red Flag, in both Alaska and Nevada."
Red Flag is an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted each year at Eielson and at Nellis Air Force in Nevada designed to train pilots from the U.S., NATO, and other allied countries for real combat missions. Alaska and Nevada provide the Air Force with two unique and vital training environments - the Arctic and the desert. The Begich/Ensign amendment also promotes a strategic partnership between the Alaska and Nevada delegations to promote both states' ranges as a coalition.
The amendment states the Department of the Air Force should continue to utilize both the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex and Nevada Test and Training Range for Red Flag exercises and other training opportunities. Additionally it calls on the Air Force to make improvements and investments in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex and Nevada Test and Training Range to maximize training opportunities.
In June, the Red Flag exercise at Eielson involved more than 2,500 personnel and 124 aircraft with units from across the country and Japan.
The amendment follows:
AMENDMENT NO.llll Calendar No.lll
Purpose: To express the sense of Congress regarding Red
Flag exercises at sites in Alaska and Nevada.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES-111th Cong., 2d Sess.
To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2011 for military
activities of the Department of Defense, for military
construction, and for defense activities of the Department
of Energy, to prescribe military personnel
strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.
Referred to the Committee on ______________ and
ordered to be printed
Ordered to lie on the table and to be printed
AMENDMENT intended to be proposed by Mr. BEGICH (for
himself and Mr. ENSIGN)
1 At the end of subtitle E of title III, add the following:
2 SEC. 349. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING RED FLAG EX3
ERCISES AT SITES IN ALASKA AND NEVADA.
4 (a) FINDINGS.-Congress makes the following find5
6 (1) Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and Nellis
7 Air Force Base, Nevada, host advanced combat
8 training exercises known as Red Flag for the United
9 States Air Force and foreign participants.
1 (2) The Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex
2 and Nevada Test and Training Range provide Red
3 Flag participants with realistic, large force complex
4 training sites.
5 (3) Participation in Red Flag exercises in the
6 states of Nevada and Alaska by foreign allies pro7
vides opportunity for building partnerships and
8 strengthening existing partnerships.
9 (4) The states of Nevada and Alaska provide
10 the Department of the Air Force unique training en11
vironments for purposes of Red Flag exercises.
12 (b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.-It is the sense of Con13
14 (1) Red Flag exercises hosted in the states of
15 Alaska and Nevada are critically important to ensur16
ing a ready force and building partner capacity;
17 (2) the Department of the Air Force should
18 continue to utilize both the Joint Pacific Alaska
19 Range Complex and Nevada Test and Training
20 Range for Red Flag exercises and other training op21
22 (3) the Department of the Air Force should
23 make improvements and investments in the Joint
24 Pacific Alaska Range Complex and Nevada Test and
25 Training Range to maximize training opportunities
1 in accordance with the 2025 Air Test and Training
2 Range Enhancement Plan.