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June 3, 2013

News Briefs June 3, 2013

Written by: timchisham
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Study recommends F-16 transfer from Alaska base

A draft Environmental Impact Study released by the U.S. Air Force recommends moving forward with a proposal to transfer a F-16 fighter jet squadron at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska, to Anchorage, Alaska.

The Fairbanks Daily New Miner reports the 226-page study was released May 31. It details the Air Force’s review of the transfer proposed in 2012 as a cost-saving measure, which has faced criticism from Alaska’s congressional delegation.

The Air Force estimates the squadron transfer would save $227 million in salaries and benefits.

The study includes anticipated consequences for the Interior, which could lose 21 planes and 1,551 military and civilian jobs.

It also recommends keeping Eielson as a temporary base for the aircraft several times per year for training exercises. AP

Military families getting once-foreclosed homes

Five military families will soon be moving into metro Atlanta homes that had been in foreclosure and were donated by a bank to a charity that helps former service members find housing.

The charity Operation Homefront surprised the five families with the announcement June 1 at an event in Stone Mountain, Ga. The houses were donated by Wells Fargo, which otherwise would have sold them at auction.

The houses are going to four Army soldiers and one Marine who were forced out of the military by injuries. Four of the families are returning home to Georgia from Texas, Alaska and California, and one family has been renting an apartment outside Atlanta.

In the past year, Operation Homefront has moved 110 military families into homes donated by banks with no mortgage to pay. AP

Air Force releases revised F-35 study for Vermont

An Air Force spokeswoman says one apparent change in a revised report about the environmental effect of basing F-35 fighter jets in Vermont is correcting an omission from the earlier report.

Air Force Spokeswoman Kathy White said that a section of the report released May 31 that said McEntire Air National Guard base in South Carolina was the preferred environmental alternative for basing the planes should have been included in last year’s first report.

Meanwhile, both supporters and opponents of basing the F-35 in Vermont are studying the report.

White says the only changes from the original document are about population changes around the airport.

The Vermont guard says bringing the planes to South Burlington will guarantee jobs and their mission. Opponents say the plane is too loud. AP

Auction to be reset for former presidential jet

An auction for an airplane that was once part of the presidential fleet will begin again now that the government has sold a collection of spare parts separately.

The U.S. General Services Administration says the blue and white DC-9 was part of the Air Force Two fleet and at one point may have served as Air Force One, a plane used by the president.

The plane is being stored at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Ariz.

GSA area property officer Randy Patterson says the auction began last week but was postponed by the State Department so it could sell the collection of spare parts.

Patterson says an auction of the plane will be scheduled to begin in several weeks. Bidding starts at $50,000. AP




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