FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce members got an update on the Alaska National Guard at today's luncheon.
One of the main topics discussed was the improvement of military bases in Alaska.
The 'Association of Defense Communities' focuses on ways to increase the viability of military bases and their communities.
Most locations looking to improve their military installations in the U.S. have around two to six full-time individuals to work on issues.
Until recently, Alaska didn't have any such staff; but as of December 1st of this year, the Alaska National Guard has hired Special Assistant, Michael Johnson, to help improve Alaska's military communities.
Johnson is currently working on a department grant for a supply chain study for bases in Alaska.
Bob Dole; Deputy Commissioner - Alaska Military and Veterans Affairs>>"What that basically means is that we're getting a federal grant so that we can get a directory or a quantitative list and understanding of how we support all these military bases in Alaska. Who do they need to go to, to get their food, their mechanical services, the [inaudible] equipment, whatever they need to buy, whatever they need from a service or a good. That means two things for us, first when we look at changes in the military footprint wither an increase or a decrease it tells us which businesses are going to feel the pain and may need assistance to adjust to it and second it identifies opportunities. Those opportunities or where an outside firm is providing a good or service to a base here in Alaska that we can point Alaskan companies to compete for and hopefully take from those outside companies. It tells us where those target of opportunities are for Alaskan businesses to take care of our Alaska bases."