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Begich has Productive Meeting with Air Force General

U.S. Senator Mark Begich had a productive meeting today with General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, Commander of the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), to discuss Alaska’s strategic location and bringing new missions, like unmanned aerial systems, to Eielson Air Force Base.  General Carlisle also highlighted the incredible value of the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC), which allows for joint service training and Red Flag exercises with international partners unavailable anywhere else. The general and senator also discussed enormous new opportunities in the Arctic and the American military’s critical role there as climate change increases interest in Arctic resources and governance.

“Eielson’s strategic location in Alaska makes it an invaluable resource when it comes to missions in the Pacific theater,” said Begich. “With the F-16 move on hold for at least the next year and a commitment by new senior leaders to re-examine the future of Eielson, General Carlisle and I were able to discuss the potential to bring new missions to the base, as well as expanding the use of JPARC.”

Begich also spoke with General Carlisle about the transfer of two buildings on Eielson to the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Air Refueling Wing.  Senator Begich received personal assurance the transfer would occur. Last week the Air Force had confirmed the transfer with staff. The buildings, which were excess to active duty Air Force requirements, were requested by the Air National Guard earlier this  year.

The Senate is currently considering a continuing resolution which would prohibit the transfer of the F16s from Eielson Air Force

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