Parnell: Alternative to downsizing Eielson.


On Tuesday, Governor Sean Parnell announced he's asking the Pentagon to consider relocating an F–16 squadron from Germany to Eielson Air Force Base. 
In a letter to Air Force Secretary General Mark Welsh, Parnell asked the Air Force to include that option in a draft environmental impact statement planned for Eielson.
The EIS is part of a proposal to relocate the 18th Aggressor Squadron from Eielson to Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson near Anchorage.
Parnell, in his letter, is asking the Air Force consider relocating 24–F–16 aircraft and personnel from the 280th Fighter Squadron from Spangdalehm Air Force Base in Germany.
Under the proposal, according to Parnell, the 280th would become part of the 354th Fighter Wing at Eielson.
At a recent public event, Parnell said "Under the structure proposed (of) the air force we would have one F–16 squadron here and one F–16 squadron left there, and the letter that should be in many of your email boxes describes why and how I think that and AMFASS thinks that this alternative should be explored by the Air Force as part of their EIS. So I think that it was very creative and very creative thinking that came out of public meetings came out of AMFASS, AMFASS good thinking and we are going to carry that forward on your behalf.
Parnell further states that consolidating two F–16 squadrons at Eielson, while turning Spangdalehm into a scaled–down "warm base," would reduce operational costs.
The move would also move the 280th Fighter Squadron closer to training grounds, and allow them to deploy more easily to Asia and the Pacific Rim, areas where the U.S. military wants a stronger presence.