The Federal Communications Commission will soon be the latest federal agency to reduce its presence in Alaska.

The commission's Anchorage enforcement bureau field office primarily handles complaints of interference to radio frequencies. The Alaska field office, along with 10 others throughout the country, including one in Puerto Rico, will be closed as part of a modernization plan that the agency projects will save millions of dollars annually.

It plans to maintain a presence in Alaska through contracts with local personnel. A team of electrical engineers based in Denver will be on call if needed, according to commission spokesman Will Wiquist.  

"Our field agents will continue to respond in a timely manner to interference complaints," Wiquist wrote in an email late Friday.

Other U.S. government agencies that have left Alaska or shut down operations include the National Archives and the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects. The Department of Defense recently announced plans to cut 2,600 Army troops from its base in Anchorage and several dozen more from Fairbanks.

Wiquist would not address how many people the commission employs in Alaska, how many would be affected by the move or when the closure would occur.

He said the agency is committed to assisting employees in finding positions in the public or private sectors, including other vacancies within the agency. 

Jeannette Lee Falsey

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