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Eielson gets 1-year reprieve on relocating F-16 squadron

Katie Medred

Alaska Public Radio Network reports the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the 2013 Defense Department (DOD) budget that puts the brakes on the proposed relocation of the F-16 fighter jet squadron at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) in Anchorage.

The amendment from Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), places a one-year moratorium on any action that threatens the number of civilians working on military bases.

The Department of Defense hopes the amendment will act as preventative measure against a Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) process at Eielson Air Force Base. A BRAC process can be launched by the military, without notification or consent from Congress, if the on-base civilian workforce drops below 300 employees. If the F-16 squadron relocated from Eielson to JBER, it could trigger the BRAC process, and Eielson could be shut down with little warning.