How to protect Alaska military bases from looming across-the-board federal defense spending cuts? That was the basis for a meeting Monday of the Joint Armed Services Committee, APRN reports.
Steve Hyjek, a Washington D.C. based consultant, was hired by the state to develop a plan to protect Alaska's bases, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. He spoke to the committee about possible closures, and will present a formal report in October with a full analysis and suggestions for how the state should proceed.
The next federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission for the Air Force will be in 2015, the News-Miner reports. Many expect the BRAC commission to recommend realignments and base closures, potentially bad news for Alaska and Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, one of the most expensive bases to operate in the U.S.
Eielson is considered strategically important to Pacific operations. Yet, as Hyjek noted, "people who do the first cut in the BRAC process are number crunchers, they're not focused on the strategic importance."
Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced via press release Tuesday that demolition of three facilities at Eielson has been halted, with two of those buildings slated for transfer to the Alaska National Guard.