Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/16/1999 08:06 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
HJR 21-MILITARY BASE REALIGNMENT/CLOSURE ACTIONS                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0507                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES announced HJR 21, Relating to new evaluation and                                                                    
selection criteria for military base realignment and closure                                                                    
actions, sponsored by Representative Mulder, is before the                                                                      
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MULDER explained that HJR 21 emphasizes the                                                                      
strengths of Alaska's bases for future Base Realignment and Closure                                                             
(BRAC) processes.  The joint task force for military bases in                                                                   
Alaska met during the interim and proposed this resolution.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MULDER noted that the task force met with various                                                                
members within the Pentagon, Alaska's military leaders, and other                                                               
experts and concluded that if congress was going to go through                                                                  
another round of base realignment and closure, they really needed                                                               
to update their criteria from which they make those decisions.  The                                                             
BRAC process was impaneled in the early 80s and had established a                                                               
number of criteria, but the most important item was cost which was                                                              
a very harmful criterion for Alaska.  He said that the military                                                                 
bases in the United States have changed substantively over the past                                                             
decade.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MULDER referred to news events within the last                                                                   
couple of years.  He said that, "We have gone from a base-                                                                      
projection platform of having military installations outside our                                                                
country, now we've withdrawn them back mostly to within our                                                                     
country, so we now are faced with the power of projection of base                                                               
structure as opposed to a foreign deployed base structure but that                                                              
is not accounted for within the BRAC process."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that HJR 21 simply calls for congress                                                              
to establish new criteria, not only focusing on cost, but also on                                                               
the importance of power projection which is very important for                                                                  
Alaska.  He indicated that most people don't understand that you                                                                
can get to most hot spots in the world as quickly, or more quickly                                                              
from Alaska than you can from the other deployment forces, for                                                                  
example, Fort Brag, North Carolina, as well as the joint mobility                                                               
and deployment.  Fort Richardson, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Fort                                                                
Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base have joint mobility to put                                                                
the troops together to get them to a position or staging point in                                                               
an international hot spot.  He also mentioned that that criterion                                                               
was not highly ranked or placed within the criteria.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said HJR 18 requests that the Congress and                                                                
the President establish new Joint Cross-Service Groups this year to                                                             
study power projection and deployment, and also to develop a new                                                                
evaluation in selection criteria because with the new force                                                                     
structures and the new alignment of bases within the United States,                                                             
it begs the question why these criteria are not more highly valued                                                              
or established.  Representative Mulder also noted this came with                                                                
the recommendation of Senator Stevens because Senator Stevens felt                                                              
that Alaska's bases are being devalued unnecessarily.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0573                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved to report HJR 21 out of committee with                                                                
individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                   
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

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