Murkowski, Begich hail provisions of defense bill


Alaska's U.S. senators are hailing provisions of a defense spending bill.
  The measure, among other things, would block until 2014 any movement of U.S. Air Force aircraft or equipment. A commission is considering Air Force restructuring, including transferring the F-16s from Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage. 
  Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the provision reassures her that Alaska's military presence won't be overhauled ``because of research on Craigslist and half-baked assessments.'' She said if the nation plans to modernize and streamline its military, it cannot undercut installations closest to the Asia-Pacific theater, an area the U.S. plans to focus attention.
  Sen. Mark Begich said each time Congress stops a ``wrong-headed'' effort to move the F-16s from Fairbanks, it comes closer to defeating the idea.