All three Interior mayors, local community leaders, state leaders and representatives for Alaska's U.S. congressional delegation met today with Air Force officials who head up the Site Activation Task Force (SATAF) who are in town to survey Eielson Air Force Base.
The visit by SATAF is in preparation for the intended move of the F–16 Aggressor Fighter Squadron from Eielson to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
The Interior's three mayors met initially with the survey team in a closed meeting yesterday, but SATAF officials were swayed to hold another meeting for community leaders and media today.
The SATAF team is being led by Brigadier General Mark Mcleod, which is unusual as survey teams are not normally led by such high–ranking officials.
General McLeod said extenuating logistics and timing prompted his involvement.
When asked if community considerations could sway the air force from moving the F–16s, McLeod said strategies can change, but they are proceeding ahead with their primary mission.
Brig. Gen. McLeod said, “The universal answer to that would be, "yes," but the process that we have set up right now doesn't directly support that. We have a SATAF process that is in motion in order to execute a presidential budget decision. So, we have an obligation because of timing, in order to execute that at this point.”