Governor Walker Applauds U.S. Air Force Decision to Station F-35 Troops at the Eielson Airforce Base - P.O.W. Report

Monday, April 4, 2016

Governor Walker Applauds U.S. Air Force Decision to Station F-35 Troops at the Eielson Airforce Base

No. 16-26
Contact: Katie Marquette, Press Secretary – (907) 465-5801
Aileen Cole, Deputy Press Secretary – (907) 269-7458

April 4, 2016 FAIRBANKS – Governor Bill Walker today applauded news that the United States Air Force will place F-35 fighter jets at Eielson Air Force Base outside Fairbanks. Placement of 54 F-35 aircraft at Eielson will bring over 2,700 new residents to the Interior, thousands of civilian jobs, and nearly $600 million in upfront construction.

“As the entire world turns its attention to the Arctic, I am grateful the U.S. Air Force has once again confirmed Alaska’s strategic significance and critical location on the globe,” said Governor Walker. “We recognize Alaska’s important role in our nation’s armed forces, and stand ready for the U.S. military to take full advantage of the opportunities our state can offer.” During a call with U.S. Air Force Under Secretary Lisa Disbrow this morning, Governor Walker, members of the Tiger Team, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young, Senator Click Bishop, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel, City of Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart, and former FNSB Mayor Luke Hopkins were informed that the Secretary of the Air Force had signed a record of decision for the environmental impact statement that had studied the addition of F-35’s stationed at Eielson. Signing a record of decision is the last step in the National Environmental Policy Act process and stood as the final hurdle to be completed before the Air Force could station the aircraft at Eielson.

Governor Walker applauded the Fairbanks community for working tirelessly to keep Eielson Air Force Base open, and noted the significant economic opportunity this decision will bring to the state.

“The road to today’s announcement began in 2005 when it was determined that Eielson Air Force Base would be shut down. Alaskans pulled together and fought hard to stop that from happening, ultimately making today’s news a reality. While there are many who deserve recognition, I especially want to thank Senator Lisa Murkowski, Mayor Luke Hopkins, and Jim Dodson for their tireless efforts to keep Eielson open and build the base into what it is today. I also want to thank the men and women of the United States Air Force for protecting our nation and remaining committed to Alaska,” Governor Walker said. “With a $4 billion deficit and low capital budgets, stationing the F-35’s at Eielson will bring new construction and a much needed boost to our state’s economy. My administration will continue to work with our congressional delegation and the U.S. Air Force to maintain a strong military presence in the Interior and throughout Alaska.”

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