Commission Heard Alaska Concerns All Around
August 26, 2005
"This is precisely the approach that we asked for when we visited with commission members and once again, it's clear that they heard Alaska's concerns," Murkowski said. "We'll have the assurance of a seamless transition for our Air National Guard unit and eventually room for growth at Ted Stevens International Airport."
The commission also agreed that the Air Force had substantially underestimated the cost of moving Kulis Air National Guard operations to Elmendorf AFB. Initially, the Air Force estimated such a move will cost between $75 million and $81 million. The actual costs estimated by BRAC are in excess of $121 million.
It is anticipated that the 176th Wing's movement to Elmendorf will take several years. Once it is completed, the state will work through the International Airport to recommit the 130 acres occupied by the National Guard to support growing civilian operations.
"Over the past two days, we've seen this commission has a clear understanding of Alaska and the military importance of our location. We've been able to save Eielson, move Kulis on Alaska's terms and effect a much slower withdrawal from Galena's forward air station. This has been the best possible outcome for Alaska," Murkowski said.
The governor thanked the Congressional
Delegation and the tireless efforts of the Save Eielson Task
Force and the thousands of volunteers in Fairbanks, Anchorage
and Galena who cooperated in the BRAC visits. In addition, he
thanked the Municipality of Anchorage, the Fairbanks North Star
Borough and the Alaska Legislature for their efforts.
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