What’s At Stake

On February 3, 2012, the U.S. Air Force announced plans to move all 21 F-16 fighter planes and supporting units from Eielson Air Force Base to the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage as part of nationwide efforts to reduce the military budget. The loss of more over 2,200 military and civilian personnel and their families would have huge economic and social impacts on North Pole and Fairbanks.

Even though Alaska’s congressional delegation was successful in delaying Air Force plans to move Eielson’s F-16 squadron to Anchorage, Eielson Air Force Base is still at risk. The Air Force is going ahead with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is a prerequisite to moving the F-16s.

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Why You Should Care

The Air Force plans to move over 2,000 airmen and women and 235 civilian jobs to Anchorage. Additionally, one in every 10 jobs in the FNSB owes its existence to Eielson Air Force Base, and it's estimated that one in 7 construction jobs would be lost if Eielson is closed.

There is no sector that would not be profoundly affected. The base contributes $450 million each year in wages, salaries, and earnings to local businesses. If the 354th Fighter Wing is transferred, the Fairbanks area economy would drop by an estimated $374 million. Property values would fall, and local school funding would be cut.

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