Air Force Reassures Lawmakers about Eielson’s Future Following Realignment
- February 17, 2012
The senior military officer in Alaska told state lawmakers this week that Eielson Air Force Base will continue to play a critical role if the Air Force carries out a proposal to relocate the Fairbanks installation’s 18th Aggressor Squadron to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
Eielson will keep its Air National Guard air refueling unit and host multiple Red Flag Alaska training exercises each year, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Hoog.
Hoog was unable, however, to say how many of the installation’s 1,800 active-duty personnel would relocate along with its 21 F-16s, reported the News Tribune.
Meanwhile, the Fairbanks North Star Borough is leading a local effort to fight the proposed move, which the state’s congressional delegation has said should only be implemented as part of a BRAC round. The 18th Aggressor Squadron is the main active duty force at the North Pole-area base. The Air Force announced the realignment Feb. 3 as part of a comprehensive set of force structure changes.