Air Force Delays Public Hearings regarding Proposed F16 Transfer

FAIRBANKS, Ak - The Fairbanks North Star Borough has a little more time to prepare for another round of public hearings in regard to the future of F16 jets stationed at Eielson Air Force Base.

Last month, Air Force officials released a draft Environmental Impact Study which recommended moving the 18th Aggressor Squadron from Eielson to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson near Anchorage.

As part of the process, Air Force officials must hold another round of public hearings to collect community input.

The two meetings in the Interior were originally scheduled for June 19th and 20th, however, the Air Force  has now delayed the hearings until July 15th through 18th due to requests made by Alaska's congressional delegation to give them more time to prepare their remarks.

Locally, elected officials have expressed frustration with the proposed transfer and the findings of the draft E.I.S.

"We want to make sure our planes return and having the fighters here for JPARC Red Flag Exercise and the Air Force is asking us to expand JPARC air space, which I'm all in favor of," said Luke Hopkins, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor. "All these things just don't mesh and that's like, there's a right and left hand and then there's another set of right and left hands, so it just doesn't make sense still and that's the point we're going to make in our public hearings."

No locations have been announced for the rescheduled hearings.