Alaska Public Radio Network reports the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the 2013 Defense Department (DOD) budget that puts the brakes on the proposed relocation of the F-16 fighter jet squadron at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) in Anchorage.
The amendment from Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), places a one-year moratorium on any action that threatens the number of civilians working on military bases.
The Department of Defense hopes the amendment will act as preventative measure against a Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) process at Eielson Air Force Base. A BRAC process can be launched by the military, without notification or consent from Congress, if the on-base civilian workforce drops below 300 employees. If the F-16 squadron relocated from Eielson to JBER, it could trigger the BRAC process, and Eielson could be shut down with little warning.