House Bill Transfers Control of Air Force Memorial

The House version of the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill contains a provision that would permanently transfer administrative oversight of the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., from the Army to the Air Force. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) introduced this provision as an amendment. Members adopted it by voice vote on May 26, the same day on which they passed the bill. The language gives the Air Force Secretary “jurisdiction, custody, and control” of the memorial and makes the Secretary responsible for its “operation, maintenance, and management.” The Air Force is currently handling the memorial’s operation and maintenance by way of an agreement signed with the Army in April 2007. Since this agreement was meant to be temporary in nature, the Franks measure is meant to permanently transfer administrative control to the Air Force. This would clarify the long-term status of the parcel of land on which the memorial sits as well as the responsibilities of various organizations involved in its operation and maintenance.