Alaskan Lawmakers Push for Eielson-Based F-35s

Alaskan lawmakers unanimously approved resolutions this week urging the Air Force to station the F-35 strike fighter at Eielson Air Force Base, reported Alaska’s Daily News-Miner. “The F-35 basing decision could reverse a wave of reductions started in 2005, which threaten to leave Eielson at the brink of closure,” said State Senate Majority Leader John Coghill (R-Fairbanks/North Pole) in a release. Eielson lost its A-10 mission following BRAC 2005 and the Air Force proposed removing its Active Duty F-16s in 2011. However, Congress has temporarily delayed that action, noted Coghill. “This resolution seeks to honor the historic, strong connection Alaska has with the Air Force, as well as reaffirming Alaska’s commitment to our nation’s security,” he added. Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle said in July that the first overseas F-35 squadron will be based in the Pacific, likely Alaska, Japan, or South Korea. The base selection process is underway.