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Joint Armed Services Committee to Meet Regarding Protection of Alaska’s Military Bases

ANCHORAGE-The Legislative Joint Armed Services Committee has scheduled a follow-up meeting to its June hearing to review strategies to protect Alaska’s military bases against upcoming federal proposals to realign and close military bases around the nation.  The meeting will take place on Monday, September 17th from 10am to 12pm at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.

Senator Bill Wielechowski and Representative Dan Saddler, Co-Chairs of the Joint Armed Services Committee, called the series of meetings to review statewide concerns about closures and realignments in Alaska, relocation of the F-16 aggressor squadron and to develop strategies for retention of military installations in Alaska.

 “While we understand the need to reduce the budget on the federal level to decrease the nation’s growing deficit, we believe cuts to Alaska’s military installations would substantially weaken the nation’s defenses due to our strategic location,” said Senator Wielechowski.  “Alaska’s military force is also of critical importance to our economy with 32 military installations, more than 23,000 active duty service members and more than 37,000 active family members.”

"As the Pentagon looks to cut its budget while reorienting toward future potential threats in the Asia and Mideast theaters, we have an obligation to consider whether any estimated savings from reducing capabilities in Alaska would ultimately be worth the risks to national security," said Rep. Saddler. "This meeting should help us address some of these questions, and guide Alaska's strategy in addressing these challenges."

Committee members will hear from the consulting group hired by the State, Hyjek and Fix Consulting Group, about solutions for protecting Alaska’s military bases and operations from federal budget cuts.  Members will also receive a presentation from Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Commissioner Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus.

WHO: Legislative Joint Armed Services Committee

WHAT: Hearing on Upcoming Base Realignment and Closures

WHERE: Anchorage Legislative Information Office, 716 W. Fourth Ave., Room 220

WHEN: Monday, September 17, 2012, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

People who cannot attend the hearing can watch online at http://alaskalegislature.tv/.

For more information, please call Senator Wielechowski at 907-242-1558 or Kendra Kloster at 907-269-0120.

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