Alaska Legislature Passes Bill Creating Military Facility Zones
The Alaska legislature has sent a measure creating military facility zones that offer state and federal incentives for businesses that support Alaska’s military to Gov. Sean Parnell (R) for his signature.
House Bill 316 is intended to help the state’s installations in a variety of ways, reported the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. The legislation, for instance, would make low-cost loans or tax credits available to companies for projects that lower the operating cost of installations. It also could attract new companies to meet specific military needs in Alaska. The zone could lure companies involved in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry to Eielson Air Force Base, for example.
Bill sponsor state Rep. Steve Thompson believes the measure could help preserve Eielson’s future. Under comprehensive force structure changes announced in February, the Air Force plans to relocate the Fairbanks installation’s 18th Aggressor Squadron to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
“BRAC rumblings from Congress and the potential movement of the F-16s away from Eielson Air Force Base are just two recent examples of how tenuous it is for us right now; it shows that our ability to keep and benefit from our military — for our economy and our safety — is at risk unless we find ways to better support the costs and needs of the bases while making their missions more efficient to carry out,” Thompson said in a written statement.