ANCHORAGE, Alaska — For months now, Alaska’s congressional delegation has been working to stop the Air Force from moving a squadron of F-16 fighter jets from Fairbanks to Anchorage.
Now Alaska lawmakers have added a delay tactic to their efforts.
This week a Senate committee approved an amendment to a defense budget bill that calls for a one-year moratorium on any changes to the force structure at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks.
The amendment was proposed by Sen. Mark Begich. Since February Begich, along with the rest of Alaska's delegation -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young -- have teamed up with leaders in the Fairbanks North Star Borough to fight an Air Force plan that will shift some 18 fighter jets and about 500 military and civilian workers to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
The move would dramatically reduce the number of people based at Eielson, and Fairbanks political and business leaders say that will severely damage the Interior’s economy.