Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532

02/17/2015 02:00 PM ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE

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Audio Topic
02:04:40 PM Start
02:07:06 PM Presentation: "state of the Military"
04:24:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ - Lieutenant General Russell Handy, Commander: TELECONFERENCED
Alaskan Command, Eleventh Air Force, Alaskan
North American Aerospace Defense Command Region
& Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
- Brigadier General Laurel J. Hummel,
Commissioner, Alaska Dept. of Military &
Veterans' Affairs, The Adjutant General - Alaska
National Guard
- JBER & Ft. Wainwright downsizing, Listening
Sessions Announcement & Discussion
-- Testimony <Invitation Only --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                 JOINT ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE                                                                               
                       February 17, 2015                                                                                        
                           2:04 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lora Reinbold, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Senator John Coghill, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Wes Keller                                                                                                       
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Senator Anna MacKinnon                                                                                                          
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
PUBLIC MEMBERS                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Lieutenant Colonel Tom Case - retired                                                                                           
Colonel Tim Jones - retired                                                                                                     
Charles "Chick" Wallace (via teleconference)                                                                                    
Major General Jake Lestenkof - retired (via teleconference)                                                                     
Colonel George Vakalis - retired (via teleconference)                                                                           
Chief Warrant Officer Curt Brownlow (via teleconference)                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: "STATE OF THE MILITARY"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL RUSSELL J. HANDY, Commander                                                                                  
Eleventh Air Force                                                                                                              
Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)                                                                        
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER)                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave an overview on the military in Alaska.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE HUMMEL, Commissioner                                                                                                     
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA)                                                                                
Fort Richardson, AK                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented an overview of DMVA.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LUKE HOPKINS, Mayor                                                                                                             
Fairbanks North Star Borough                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Described the "Tiger Team."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:04:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LORA REINBOLD called the Joint Armed Services Committee                                                              
meeting to order at 2:04 p.m.  Representatives Keller, LeDoux,                                                                  
Lynn, Tarr, and Reinbold and Senators Coghill, McKinnon, Bishop,                                                                
and Wielechowski were present at the call to order.  Also in                                                                    
attendance were retired Lieutenant Colonel Tom Case and retired                                                                 
Colonel Tim Jones. Present via teleconference were Civilian Aide                                                                
to the Secretary of the Army, Chick Wallace, retired Major                                                                      
General Jake Lestenkof, retired Colonel George Vakalis, and                                                                     
Chief Warrant Officer Curt Brownlow.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION: "State of the Military"                                                                                          
             PRESENTATION: "State of the Military"                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
2:07:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  REINBOLD  announced that  the  first order  of  business                                                              
would  be a  presentation  by  Lieutenant General  Russell  Handy,                                                              
commander of  the Alaska  Command of the  Eleventh Air  Force, the                                                              
Alaskan North American  Aerospace Defense Command  Region (NORAD),                                                              
and  Joint  Base Elmendorf-Richardson  (JBER),  Alaska.  She  said                                                              
General  Handy  is  the senior  military  officer  in  Alaska  and                                                              
responsible  for the  integration  of all  military activities  in                                                              
Alaska's joint  operations area. He  is a command pilot  with more                                                              
than 3,600  flight hours,  and he  participated in Desert  Shield,                                                              
Desert  Storm, Desert  Fox,  Southern  Watch, Noble  Eagle,  Iraqi                                                              
Freedom, and New Dawn, she added.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:09:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  RUSSELL  J. HANDY,  Commander,  Eleventh  Air                                                              
Force, Alaskan  North American Aerospace Defense  Command (NORAD),                                                              
and  Joint  Base Elmendorf-Richardson  (JBER),  noted  that  there                                                              
were six  mission-ready military  aircraft in  Alaska in  1941 and                                                              
22,000 military women  and men with very poor  command and control                                                              
and  no   infrastructure.   In  1942,  the   recognition   of  the                                                              
importance  of Alaska  triggered  the construction  of the  Alaska                                                              
Highway.  In the  same year,  he  said, the  Japanese invaded  and                                                              
occupied Attu  and Kiska  Islands. The  next year, the  1,500-mile                                                              
Alaska  Highway   was  completed,   providing   a  way  to   bring                                                              
infrastructure  overland  into the  state,  he explained.  Alaskan                                                              
Command was  formed in 1947, and  now it is a  sub-unified command                                                              
under the U.S. Northern Command (NorthCom).                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:11:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[A video was shown.]                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:12:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL HANDY  noted  that the  video showed  "airmen,                                                              
soldiers,  marines,  sailors,  active duty  guard  reserve,  coast                                                              
guardsmen,  and  civilian  warriors,  and  they're  all  on  there                                                              
because they're all  integrally involved in everything  that we do                                                              
to maintain ready forces for global deployment in Alaska."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:13:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY said there  are a number of  reasons why                                                              
it is important  to have an Alaska command, and he  showed a slide                                                              
entitled  "DOD  Footprint,"  [an   overlay  of  a  map  of  Alaska                                                              
military stations on  a map of the Lower 48 states].  There are 32                                                              
military installations,  12 major installations, and  about 72,000                                                              
active-duty  guard  reserve  and  families in  the  state.  Adding                                                              
about  80,000  to 100,000  veterans,  one  in five  Alaskans  have                                                              
direct  military   involvement,  he  said,  and   there  are  also                                                              
businesses that  depend on the military  in Alaska. He  noted that                                                              
about $1.5  billion a  year of DOD  [Department of Defense]  money                                                              
is in the Alaska  economy, about 18 percent of  the state economy.                                                              
Alaska  is geographically  isolated, so  no other  state can  lend                                                              
assistance when  natural disasters  occur. Additionally,  he said,                                                              
Alaska  is  a "critical  approach  to  the homeland,"  because  no                                                              
other state has the extensive coastline and air approach.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  HANDY said  the  Northern Command  abuts  the                                                              
European Command  and the Pacific  Command, so it serves  to unify                                                              
DOD  action. He  showed a  chart, "Historical  Alignment (pre  Oct                                                              
14)," and said  he has "been aligned  with four hats."  One is the                                                              
Eleventh Air  Force, where  he manages  airmen serving  Hawaii and                                                              
Guam.  He  then  spoke  of  the  relationship  with  the  Canadian                                                              
government,  and  said,  "We  are   responsible,  of  course,  for                                                              
warning assessment  and defense  of our  airspace." He  noted that                                                              
"we had  two hats: the  Alaskan Command  and the Joint  Task Force                                                              
Alaska,  one  of which  worked  for  Admiral Locklear  in  Pacific                                                              
Command and  one for Admiral Gortney  in Northern Command,  but we                                                              
really,  increasingly, were  doing  more and  more  in support  of                                                              
NorthCom."  So, in  October, the  Secretary of  Defense signed  an                                                              
order  to move the  Alaska Command  from the  Pacific Command  and                                                              
disestablish  the Joint Task  Force, he  explained, which  is more                                                              
streamlined   and  more  accurately   depicts  activities   within                                                              
Alaska.  Day-to-day  missions  and   the  interactions  with  FEMA                                                              
[Federal  Emergency  Management  Agency]  and the  state  are  all                                                              
fundamentally a  NorthCom responsibility,  he stated, and  that is                                                              
why the organizing makes so much sense.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY turned to a slide showing  a snapshot of                                                              
where the  946 Alaska-based forces  are currently  deployed, which                                                              
does  not   count  the  thousands   who  are  on   temporary  duty                                                              
assignments  for  training  and  readiness.  The  Air  Force,  Air                                                              
National Guard, Air  Force Reserve, Royal Canadian  Air Force, and                                                              
the  civilians  who work  with  them  stay  on watch,  "24/7,"  in                                                              
support of  the Alaskan North  American Aerospace  Defense Command                                                              
(NORAD)  region,  he stated.  He  said  NORAD is  responsible  for                                                              
surveillance warning  and aerospace  control, and there  are three                                                              
North  American regions,  the Lower  48, Canada,  and Alaska,  and                                                              
they  all have  different  challenges. He  stated  that there  has                                                              
been an  increase in  activity by the  Russians near  our borders,                                                              
"and while  the numbers  have not increased  nearly to  the degree                                                              
that  we've seen  in  Europe,  particularly Eastern  Europe,  they                                                              
have  increased,   and  the   sophistication  of  their   training                                                              
missions  has also  increased."  When this  occurs, in  accordance                                                              
with international  law,  these military  training flights  do not                                                              
have to  file the same  kinds of flight  plans or squawk  codes as                                                              
civilian  aircraft, he  explained.  The aircraft  often come  into                                                              
our zones  unidentified, but  "they have  not touched  our 12-mile                                                              
international  boundary," he  said,  but "nonetheless  we like  to                                                              
know  who  is  coming within  our  identification  zones,  and  we                                                              
identify all  of the aircraft." He  noted a June flight  that came                                                              
within  40 miles  of California  and 16  other incursions  between                                                              
July and  August of 2014 that  were intercepted or  identified "in                                                              
some way."  The Russians  are sending  a message  that they  still                                                              
have the ability to project power all over the world, he said.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:21:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COGHILL said  it is nice to know those  borders are being                                                              
watched,  and he  mentioned  boat traffic  in  the northern  Asian                                                              
continent  and asked  if [Russians]  are flying  over the  [North]                                                              
Pole.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY said yes, but much  less frequently than                                                              
in  more southern  latitudes. He  said the  Russians are  building                                                              
infrastructure  and  are considering  ports  and  bases along  the                                                              
Arctic front to support economic interests in oil and gas.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COGHILL  asked if Alaska needs infrastructure.  The Asian                                                              
Pacific  will  be a  tense  zone,  but  the  Arctic is  a  growing                                                              
concern.  "We  see  Alaska  as a  strategic  location,  but  their                                                              
northern Asian place must also be equally strategic," he added.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:23:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked if  Russians fly  close just  to show                                                              
that they can.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY said there  is a lot of  conjecture, and                                                              
he believes they have an interest in projecting power, as do we.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  if   U.S.  aircraft  fly  close  to                                                              
Russian airspace.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL HANDY  said,  "We exercise  freedom of  action                                                              
throughout  the  world,  quite   frankly."  He  said  the  Chinese                                                              
government  declared an air  defense identification  zone,  and "I                                                              
think that  it was less than 24  hours later we flew  within that-                                                              
and  have every  right  to  do so.  While  we don't  operate  very                                                              
frequently up  in that area, we  certainly have the ability  to do                                                              
that in accordance with international law anytime we please."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:24:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  HANDY  noted   that  he  is  also  a  service                                                              
commander  and management  headquarters  for  all  the airmen  who                                                              
serve  with  the  Eleventh  Air  Force.  The  Eleventh  Air  Force                                                              
recently  aligned  many of  the  airmen  who  were assigned  to  a                                                              
commander in  Hawaii to him,  he said. So,  "all of our  Air Force                                                              
assets that are  now assigned on U.S. soil are  under Eleventh Air                                                              
Force," he  stated. In  Alaska, the Eleventh  Air Force  manages a                                                              
number of facilities  that contribute to readiness,  he explained,                                                              
with two  large operations  and maintenance  contracts managed  by                                                              
the  Pacific Regional  Support  Center and  run  by Alaska  Native                                                              
corporations.  There  is  an  exciting  10-year  arrangement  with                                                              
ARCTEC  Joint Venture  for $422  million to support  the 15  long-                                                              
range  radar sites  across the borders  of Alaska.  He said  three                                                              
installation-support contracts  were merged into one  for the King                                                              
Salmon  Airbase,  Eareckson  Air  Station, and  Wake  Island,  and                                                              
Chugach Federal  Solutions manages this $184 million  contract. He                                                              
said  his  group  is  engaged  in   63  environmental  restoration                                                              
projects, and many of those cleaning up are Alaska Natives.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:27:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR asked  him to compare  our preparedness  with                                                              
that of "other major superpowers."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  HANDY  answered  that  Russia  is  trying  to                                                              
demonstrate  its global presence,  but the  number of  bombers and                                                              
aerial  refueling tankers  is  dwarfed by  the  capability of  the                                                              
United  States Air  Force.  He added  that  we  partner and  often                                                              
discuss  defense  issues  with  the  Chinese  military,  which  is                                                              
"very, very  strong within its region,"  but it cannot  compare to                                                              
the U.S. in its ability to globally project power.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:29:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked if  the Air  Force has aircraft  that                                                              
go faster than the speed of sound, like the Concord.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY said the F-22 not only  goes faster than                                                              
the speed of  sound, but it can  cruise at that speed  without the                                                              
use  of  afterburner.  The  Air  Force does  not  have  any  large                                                              
transport  aircraft like  the Concord, he  stated, but  "virtually                                                              
all of  our fighter-sized  aircraft are  supersonic in  some way."                                                              
He added that  it takes a lot of  fuel to go that fast,  and other                                                              
aircraft can get the job done without that capability.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:30:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL   HANDY  noted   that  Lockheed   Martin  just                                                              
completed  an  "essential  parts   replacement  program"  for  all                                                              
radars, giving  them a life of  about another 10 years.  The Joint                                                              
Pacific  Alaska Range  Complex (JPARC)  is six  times the  size of                                                              
its nearest  partner  in the  Lower 48  and has a  vast amount  of                                                              
airspace and  very sophisticated  equipment. He  said it  needs to                                                              
be  continuously upgraded,  especially  for  the fifth  generation                                                              
aircraft  like the B-2,  F-22, and  F-35 where  it is  not meeting                                                              
requirements,  "so  we're expanding  both  the vertical  size  and                                                              
then  some of  the equipment  capability within  the ranges,"  and                                                              
that initiative  is  still ongoing,  and he expects  it will  take                                                              
12-18 months  before any  of those  initiatives come to  fruition.                                                              
He said, "The  FAA [Federal Aviation Administration]  has the ball                                                              
right now  … on most  of those initiatives,  and they're  about to                                                              
come out for public comment."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:32:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL JONES asked about the gaps he intends to address.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY explained that there are  six areas that                                                              
are  targeted,  and   there  is  a  record  of   decision  on  the                                                              
environmental  impact statement  on each  [project]. The  first is                                                              
an   expansion  of   the  Fox   3   Military  Operating   Area-the                                                              
southernmost piece  of that long  piece of airspace, which  is now                                                              
very  limited in  vertical capacity  to  be able  to do  realistic                                                              
training.  He  said there  are  some  lower altitude  areas  where                                                              
civilian  aircraft fly,  and he  wants to be  careful and  perhaps                                                              
mitigate  the impacts by  using corridors  and time  restrictions.                                                              
"That's the kind  of thing the FAA will help us  with," he stated.                                                              
There are  "a couple  of enhancements in  our area ground  ranges,                                                              
both  restricted  area 2202  and  2205," he  said.  It  will be  a                                                              
slight extension and  re-angling of the airspace in  order to drop                                                              
live ordnance  and keep  people safe. "Because  our F-22s  own the                                                              
night, but  we want  to continue  to have them  own the  night, we                                                              
need to  fly a  little later  in the evening,"  he explained,  and                                                              
instead of  having to  land at 11  p.m., perhaps  land at  1 a.m.,                                                              
which is  a very small  window at the  beginning of spring  and at                                                              
the end  of summer. He  told the committee  that Alaska is  at the                                                              
forefront of  remotely piloted vehicles,  and he spoke  of working                                                              
with the  University of  Alaska and other  partners, and  they are                                                              
studying what restricted  airspace corridors are  needed. The next                                                              
expansion is of  the Army range bordering Eielson  Air Force Base,                                                              
he added.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:36:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY said  the 3rd Wing  is one of  the major                                                              
wings in the  Eleventh Air Force,  and it would take him  too long                                                              
                                                                                                                                
to go  through everything  the 3rdWing   has  done just this  past                                                              
year,  but it  has been  involved  all over  the world,  including                                                              
supporting the President  on a Malaysian trip, being  the first F-                                                              
22s in  combat, supporting  Typhoon Haiyan  [relief efforts],  and                                                              
generating  C-17s to support  special forces  during the  Nigerian                                                              
kidnapping incident.  The 3rd  Wing was also  at the  forefront of                                                              
developing  a  new  concept  about  expeditionary  deployments  of                                                              
sophisticated aircraft  like F-22s  with a small  support package,                                                              
either overtly  or covertly,  to places all  over the  Pacific, he                                                              
said, and the concept  is called Rapid Raptor, and  it has been in                                                              
the media. The 3rd  Wing has been involved in other  exercises and                                                              
readiness initiatives  all over  the globe, including  hosting the                                                              
South Korean search and rescue effort for a fishing vessel.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL HANDY  stated  that Colonel  Brian  Bruckbauer                                                              
and his  team [673d  Air Base  Wing] continue  to set  the example                                                              
for  how  to  run  a big  joint  base  with  over  40,000  airmen,                                                              
soldiers,  and  families.  He  said,  "They've  started  something                                                              
called  a land  encroachment executive  stakeholder meeting,"  and                                                              
he has never  seen anything like it. Instead  of separate meetings                                                              
for  the Port  of  Anchorage,  Knik  Arm crossing,  Mountain  View                                                              
noise, and  the Ted Stevens  [Airport] master plan,  for examples,                                                              
this meeting  brings all of the  folks together to  discuss issues                                                              
in  a  holistic manner.  It  has  been  a tremendous  success,  he                                                              
stated. Many  contracts have been  restored or captured.  The Wing                                                              
has increased access  to the [on-base] medical  facility and added                                                              
urology and  vision services to take  some of the pressure  off of                                                              
"our  clinics  downtown." He  spoke  of  the Arctic  Thunder  open                                                              
house, where  150,000 people  came out to  see the Thunder  Birds,                                                              
JBER [Joint  Base Elmendorf-Richardson]  joint teams, and  over 35                                                              
other performers  demonstrating military capability.  Referring to                                                              
"Alaska Shield,"  he said that  the 673rd supported  an incredible                                                              
amount  of people  to make  that exercise  happen. He  said he  is                                                              
proud to  announce that  the power  plant partnership  between the                                                              
municipality  of  Anchorage, Doyon,  and  the  base won  the  2014                                                              
Federal  Energy  Management Program  award  by using  methane  gas                                                              
from  a  landfill  to  generate  energy. In  its  first  year,  it                                                              
generated 7.5  percent of the energy  needs of the base,  and last                                                              
year it  generated almost 26  percent of  the power for  the base.                                                              
He said  his folks  have done  an incredible  job publicizing  all                                                              
that they are  doing and keeping the lines of  communication open,                                                              
and the  U.S. Air Force  said the 673rd  has the number  1 website                                                              
in  the Air  Force,  and  its Facebook  pages  are  in  the top  2                                                              
percent.  He said Eielson  [Air  Force Base]  is adjacent  to "our                                                              
ranges," and  it is a premier  exercise and training venue  in the                                                              
Pacific and throughout  the entire DOD. One of the  areas that may                                                              
not be as appreciated  is the First Air Support  operations group,                                                              
he said,  and it is assigned  to the 354th  at Eielson, but  it is                                                              
headquartered  at  Lewis  McChord,  at  JBER, and  in  Hawaii.  He                                                              
explained  that "these are  the joint  terminal attack  controller                                                              
airmen  that go  to war  with the  Army  on a  daily basis."  They                                                              
conducted  the first-ever  Australian  mission  training trip.  He                                                              
noted  that  the 63-year-old  combined  heat  and power  plant  at                                                              
Eielson  is  monitored  very  carefully,   as  losing  heat  is  a                                                              
"significant  emotional event  in the  wintertime." It  is a  coal                                                              
plant, and  boilers one through  four have exceeded  environmental                                                              
standards,  but boilers  five and  six  need to  be replaced,  and                                                              
there is funding in place, he noted.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COGHILL said  it is not just a power plant;  it keeps the                                                              
whole  place  warm.  It  was  so  important  to  DOD  that,  under                                                              
sequestration, it moved ahead with the upgrade.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY suggested  visiting the old  boilers and                                                              
viewing the impressive modifications.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL   HANDY  said   there  was  a   cost  decision                                                              
regarding  privatized  housing   to  bury  [water]  pipes  without                                                              
protection,  "and that's  sort of  coming back  to haunt us."  But                                                              
they  received  almost  $7  million  for  the  first  phase  of  a                                                              
holistic repair.  The hospital at Eielson is  quite impressive for                                                              
treating patients  and saving energy  and money at the  same time,                                                              
he said.  There are  a few initiatives  in Interior  [Alaska]. The                                                              
good news  is that the  U.S. Air Force  announced that  Eielson is                                                              
the preferred  alternative for the  first overseas base  for F-35.                                                              
He said there is work in that direction, so he is optimistic.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:46:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BISHOP  asked if he saw  a simulator for F-35s  at Eielson                                                              
in the President's budget.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  HANDY said  he  believes  so, but  until  the                                                              
environmental impact study is done, he can't say for sure.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BISHOP  asked  about  coordinating  "September  with  the                                                              
range control for our Alaskan moose hunters."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:47:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  HANDY said  he  hears him,  and  there is  an                                                              
ongoing  analysis for  aggressors,  and "we  lost a  third of  our                                                              
aggressor  capability, and  so the  Air  Force is  at a  bit of  a                                                              
strategic  crossroads." They  are  looking at  different ideas  to                                                              
get  to an  executable plan,  including  other platforms,  reserve                                                              
component   associations,  and   even   contract  aggressors.   He                                                              
anticipates  hearing  an update  very  soon, hopefully  in  March.                                                              
Finally, the  Army is bringing  a Gray  Eagle company, which  is a                                                              
remotely  powered vehicle,  much  like the  [MQ-1] Predator,  with                                                              
tremendous  and exciting  opportunities for  Alaska. Not  just for                                                              
readiness for combat,  but it is a powerful weapon  system and can                                                              
be used for disaster response.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:49:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked about the F-35 timeline.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  HANDY said  the  record  of decision  on  the                                                              
environmental  impact  statement  is  planned for  the  summer  of                                                              
2016, "to keep us on track for a first aircraft in 2019."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR REINBOLD announced that Bill Popp in on teleconference.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:50:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COGHILL  said Mayor [Luke] Hopkins [Fairbanks  North Star                                                              
Borough] is in the  audience, and he put together  a "tiger team,"                                                              
which has  been a good  listening session  and a good  "discussion                                                              
point." Additionally, Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart is here.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY said there  is a tremendous  partnership                                                              
with communities  and the [armed  services], and Mayor  Hopkins is                                                              
well-known and well-respected, as is Mayor Eberhard.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:50:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY showed a slide of the  locations of Army                                                              
forces in  Alaska. He said the  Army will make the  decisions it's                                                              
going to  make, but his  job is to  ensure that the  decisions are                                                              
made with  full knowledge  of what  U.S. Army  Alaska brings,  not                                                              
just to  Alaska, but  to national  capabilities. "They  really are                                                              
the  Arctic  experts  in  the  Army,"  he  said.  The  forces  are                                                              
deployed  all over the  globe, he  noted, but  they come  home and                                                              
use  that  time  to  get  back  into  their  Arctic  skills.  They                                                              
collaborate with  Nepal, Mongolia,  Finland, Norway,  and Iceland,                                                              
and he said he is very proud of them.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  HANDY  showed dates  of  community  listening                                                              
sessions [for Army  structure changes]. His next slide  was on the                                                              
missile defense system,  and he said that the  partnership between                                                              
the Missile  Defense Agency,  Space and  Missile Defense,  and the                                                              
Alaska  National Guard  has never  been  stronger. The  long-range                                                              
discrimination  RADAR (LRDR)  basing decision  is still not  made,                                                              
he  stated, and  "they"  are  looking at  a  couple  of sites  and                                                              
comparing the costs  and benefits. "I think they're  interested in                                                              
moving forward  while the  interest in funding  that is  high," he                                                              
offered. There  is $138 million  earmarked for the program,  so it                                                              
is  moving forward  and  the question  is:  "Where?" The  combined                                                              
heat and  power plant plan  at the Clear  Air Force Station  is on                                                              
track, and  the plant will be  decommissioned on October  2015. In                                                              
Fort  Greely,  the  funding  is   complete  for  14  operationally                                                              
configured  silos, and  the upgrade  for  the Exoatmospheric  Kill                                                              
Vehicles, a  missile that  hits another  missile, is underway  and                                                              
funded, he  stated. Turning to  combat training and  readiness, he                                                              
said Alaska hosted  three big Red Flag exercises  last year, which                                                              
involved international  allies and  partners at varying  levels of                                                              
sophistication.  In 2015 [there  will be] two  big Red  Flags, and                                                              
"we're the only  two major blue air, so the friendly  side" of the                                                              
participants were  Japan and the  Republic of Korea  forces, which                                                              
is  significant when  one understands  the  history between  those                                                              
two  nations.  Northern Edge  is  biennial  and was  cancelled  in                                                              
2013, but it is  on track [for 2015] and the  only remaining high-                                                              
end exercise  that only includes  the U.S.  The intent is  to look                                                              
at all  the exquisite  capabilities that our  forces have,  and it                                                              
will occur  in the Gulf  of Alaska and  overland in the  JPARC. He                                                              
said, "Everyone  wants to  play, because it's  been so  long since                                                              
we've done one."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:57:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COGHILL asked about Coast Guard involvement.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL HANDY  answered  that there  is training  with                                                              
the Coast  Guard in smaller scale  events, because it is  so busy.                                                              
It  is looking  at Northern  Edge,  but it  is  difficult for  the                                                              
Coast Guard  to commit. The  Navy will play  a bigger role  in the                                                              
event, he said.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:58:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL HANDY  turned to the  Alaska Command  (ALCOM),                                                              
which is focused  on Alaska and the Arctic. He  said Alaska Shield                                                              
was  an incredible  success  last  year and  a  culmination of  18                                                              
months  of planning  to look  at a disaster  on the  scale of  the                                                              
1964 Good  Friday Alaska Earthquake.  It is the  Federal Emergency                                                              
Management  Agency's (FEMA)  bi-annual capstone  event, and  there                                                              
were  nine  major  exercises assessing  how  to  improve  Alaska's                                                              
emergency  response   capability,  including  local,   state,  and                                                              
tribal plans,  as well  as interagency  coordination. The  results                                                              
included validation  of codified responses  and many that  were in                                                              
development.  In  looking  at  how to  make  things  better,  many                                                              
amazing  things came  out of the  exercise. He  noted that  Alaska                                                              
has no  adjacent state  to provide  aid, "so, Commissioner  Hummel                                                              
[Department  of  Military &  Veterans'  Affairs]  and  I spent  an                                                              
awful lot  of time talking about  how to have no  airspace between                                                              
the active duty  Title 10 forces and the Alaska  National Guard on                                                              
how  to respond  to an  incident in  this state-and  as you  know,                                                              
that's  not necessarily  easy." There  are many  legal and  policy                                                              
issues, and  one way to deal with  that was to exercise  the "dual                                                              
status  command authority."  Therefore, he  said, there  was  a 1-                                                              
star Alaska  Guard  in command of  both Title  10 military  forces                                                              
and  Title  32  forces  within the  guard.  There  is  a  special,                                                              
intense course, and  there are only "one or two  of them qualified                                                              
within the  state to do  that, but we  stand that command  up and,                                                              
then,  as  the sub-unified  commander,  the  overall  Joint  Force                                                              
commander,   I  push   commander  forces,   so  tactical   command                                                              
authority with  both of  those legal hats  to that commander,  and                                                              
that  commander  takes  command   of  them  and  pushes  them,  as                                                              
required, to  where they need to  go," he explained. He  said that                                                              
approach  eliminates  "conversations and  red  tape,"  and at  the                                                              
tactical level, it  puts the commander in charge  of forces, which                                                              
is  where the  commander  needs  to be.  To  be prepared,  he  and                                                              
Commissioner  Hummel's  predecessor  signed a  standard  operating                                                              
procedure,  which   covers  first   indications  of   a  disaster,                                                              
training  and   qualifications  [of  dual   command  authorities],                                                              
getting [the  appropriate person]  appointed by the  Governor, and                                                              
how  to execute  throughout  the exercise.  He  noted the  "Alaska                                                              
Playbook," and  said it is a  step up in command  and coordination                                                              
from  the SOP  [standard operating  procedure],  and the  previous                                                              
governor and previous  commander signed the "playbook,"  and it is                                                              
a document that  is still being developed. The playbook  is like a                                                              
two-minute drill  in a football game;  it is what is  needed right                                                              
when a  disaster happens, "because  if you start talking  about it                                                              
when it  happens …  you're late to  need." The playbook  clarifies                                                              
[forces] to  be requested and what  is already available.  He said                                                              
the  playbook is  a fantastic  tool for  a disaster,  and he  will                                                              
discuss  it  with  the  Governor   [Walker]  tomorrow.  The  group                                                              
figured  out how  to  open damaged  ports,  such as  using a  ship                                                              
offshore, which involves  boats, pipes, and ramps.  The group also                                                              
exercised,  for the  first time,  a  complete aeromedical  patient                                                              
evacuation,  and he  gave the  example of  evacuating the  injured                                                              
from Valdez, getting  them to a port such as  JBER, and processing                                                              
them at a large  facility that was set up from  scratch. They also                                                              
tested the  entire critical  incident search  and rescue  response                                                              
plan.  He  said   the  exercise  involved  about   250,000  people                                                              
throughout  the state,  and "I  think  it was  a great  confidence                                                              
builder that we're all ready to work together."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:06:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR  asked   if  the   infrastructure  will   be                                                              
maintained so it will be ready to go for a live event.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL HANDY  said  joint logistics  over the  shore,                                                              
for example,  are positioned where they  can get here in  a hurry,                                                              
but  most  of  the  infrastructure  is not  sitting  here.  A  big                                                              
challenge  is the  need to  control the  flow of  aid, because  so                                                              
many people  want to  help, and  the first  things that  get maxed                                                              
out  are  the  runway  and  ramp  capacities.  The  most  valuable                                                              
enduring factors  are the  documents, arrangements,  playbook, and                                                              
memoranda  of understanding  between agencies  so that  no one  is                                                              
arguing when the  incident happens. As a DOD officer,  he has less                                                              
involvement than state  agencies, but "we're the folks  that are …                                                              
there  with the  big heavy  capacity to  help, but  we can't  help                                                              
until we're  asked and  we're not asked  until all those  agencies                                                              
get together and agree on what they want to ask for."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:08:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY said, in answer to  Representative Tarr,                                                              
the  Anchorage area  is  unique, because  everything  that may  be                                                              
needed  is on  JBER,  including  military, National  Guard,  Coast                                                              
Guard, and the state emergency operations center.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:09:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL HANDY  said he  has briefed  the committee  on                                                              
Colony Glacier,  where a  C-124 aircraft crashed  in 1952  and was                                                              
not recovered  at the  time. A few  years ago, fragments  starting                                                              
coming  out of  the glacier.  A few  weeks a  year, teams  recover                                                              
items  from the wreckage,  and last  year, seven  sets of  remains                                                              
were repatriated  to families. Operation Nanook is  a big Canadian                                                              
search  and rescue  exercise, and  last  year it  used a  scenario                                                              
with a cruise ship  in the Arctic. He said his  group participated                                                              
at a  small scale, and  he hopes to  get more engaged  with Canada                                                              
and  its Arctic  experts.  He spoke  of  the Arctic  Collaborative                                                              
Environment  (ACE),  a  tool  where  state  officials  can  use  a                                                              
desktop and  get a  coherent picture of  everything that  is going                                                              
on in the  Arctic. He said  it is another step  toward "all-domain                                                              
awareness."   He  said  he   appointed  a   new  position   of  an                                                              
interagency  coordinator. He  said the Arctic  Speaker Series  has                                                              
been a success,  bringing in Arctic stakeholders from  all over to                                                              
share what  they are doing  and to how  to operate in  the region.                                                              
The vice-president  for external affairs  for BP talked  about its                                                              
operations,  for   example.  He   then  showed  a   slide,  "Other                                                              
Initiatives,"   which  provides   perspective   on  the   multiple                                                              
programs  that relate  to the Arctic.  The military  is trying  to                                                              
stay in front of that issue, he stated.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:14:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL HANDY  said  the budget  is  better than  last                                                              
year,  "because  we  did  achieve some  stability  in  the  FY2015                                                              
budget, and  we were  able to  meet, at  least minimally,  most of                                                              
our mission  requirements  for readiness  and capability."  All of                                                              
the  national security  services  could probably  use more  money,                                                              
but they  need predictability.  He said the  bad news is  that the                                                              
Budget Control Act of 2011 reemerges in 2016.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:15:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  REINBOLD   asked  what   the  legislature  can   do  [to                                                              
influence Congress].                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  HANDY said  the  Alaska delegation  does  not                                                              
want  sequestration, so  they would  be the  ones to  ask. From  a                                                              
military  perspective, he  said  he wants  everyone to  understand                                                              
that  there will  be significant  implications,  because "most  of                                                              
what  we're  looking  at for  2016  assumes  that  we are  not  in                                                              
sequestration." He  said the legislature  could stress how  big of                                                              
an impact sequestration would have.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:17:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  REINBOLD recognized  Deputy Commissioner  Bob Doehl  and                                                              
Alaska National Army Brigadier General Bridges.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY continued to  review the DOD  budget. He                                                              
said  there is  $29  million  for the  [long-range  discrimination                                                              
RADAR], $11.5 million  for the Clear power plant  fuel system, and                                                              
$1.98  million for  transient barracks  in Barrow  for the  Alaska                                                              
Army National  Guard and others,  in recognition of  the [melting]                                                              
Arctic. He thanked the committee and the Alaska communities.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:20:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  COGHILL  said he  appreciates  the military's  work.  He                                                              
spoke  of  personal  issues,  like   PTSD  [post-traumatic  stress                                                              
disorder]  and family  problems,  when military  personnel  return                                                              
home, and he asked how the legislature can help.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY said one of  the best ways to  take care                                                              
of these men and  women is to ensure their families  are cared for                                                              
while  they   are  deployed,   including  quality  public   school                                                              
education  for the children  and helping  teachers understand  the                                                              
needs of military kids.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COGHILL said  a young 4-H student with  a military family                                                              
visited him  and said she is going  to Hawaii but plans  to return                                                              
to Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  HANDY noted that  he recently attended  one of                                                              
the tribal  military meetings,  which brought  229 presidents  and                                                              
first chiefs  to come to Anchorage.  This year it  was coordinated                                                              
with  the  Alaska   Forum  on  the  Environment,  and   it  was  a                                                              
tremendous  opportunity to  talk  about the  ancestral lands  that                                                              
the military  operates on. He said  he then chaired  the Statement                                                              
of  Cooperation Executive  Steering  Group, which  was started  by                                                              
General Case and  is an opportunity to bring  together everyone in                                                              
federal  and state  agencies that  deal with  the environment.  He                                                              
said  it helps  to get  the mission  done while  still being  good                                                              
stewards of the environment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:25:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RETIRED  GENERAL  CASE  said  the   entire  university  system  is                                                              
completely behind  veterans and  their families, and  that support                                                              
is growing.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  said the  legislature  has  been working  on                                                              
legislation that  helps veterans who return to  civilian life, and                                                              
she asked Lieutenant General Handy to keep in touch with ideas.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:27:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR REINBOLD said Alaska is in great hands.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:28 p.m. to 3:32 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:32:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  REINBOLD   welcomed  Commissioner   Laurie   Hummel  and                                                              
highlighted  some  of  her  accomplishments:  U.S.  Army,  retired                                                              
colonel;  Senior  Advisor  of the  National  Military  Academy  of                                                              
Afghanistan, NATO  training mission; and directing  the Operations                                                              
Intelligence  and   Chief  Joint  Intelligence   Support  Element,                                                              
Alaska Command.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:34:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE  HUMMEL, Commissioner,  Department of  Military &  Veterans                                                              
Affairs (DMVA),  recognized  Lieutenant Tom  Case for his  service                                                              
and  mentoring   and  Brigadier  General  Mike  Bridges   for  his                                                              
leadership and  selfless dedication  to the Alaska  National Guard                                                              
during a difficult  time. She said  this is her eighth  day on the                                                              
job, and  she has spent  half of it  with General Handy  and looks                                                              
forward  to forging  a  great  relationship between  the  National                                                              
Guard   and  Alaska   Command.  She   showed  a   chart  of   DMVA                                                              
organization, and  she said the Alaska Aerospace  Corporation gets                                                              
administrative  support from  the DMVA,  and the  U.S. Property  &                                                              
Fiscal  Office is  there to  make  sure that  fiscal and  property                                                              
processes are  legal and ethical.  Initially, she intends  to lead                                                              
the National  Guard and  align more closely  with the  missions of                                                              
the Division  of Homeland Security  and Emergency  Management. She                                                              
said Deputy  Commissioner Bob Doehl will  head up the rest  of the                                                              
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HUMMEL  noted that Alaska  has a Dual  Mission Force,                                                              
with  a state  mission  under Title  32,  and  sometimes they  are                                                              
called  to  federal  status  under  Title  10.  Most  of  Alaska's                                                              
guardsman have  been called to Title  10 missions, "time  and time                                                              
and  time again,"  she said.  The Air  Guard is  led by  Brigadier                                                              
General Tim O'Brien,  and the inbound Air Guard  commander will be                                                              
Colonel Karen  Mansfield. She  said the state  has two  wings. The                                                              
168th air refueling  wing at Eielson runs the  KC-135 tanker fleet                                                              
and the Space  Warning and Surveillance Squadron at  the Clear Air                                                              
Station. Additionally,  the most complex wing in  the Air National                                                              
Guard is the  176th Wing, which is  at JBER. It has  a broad suite                                                              
of  responsibilities:  combat  search  and  rescue,  tactical  and                                                              
strategic airlift,  air control, and rescue coordination.  The Air                                                              
Guard is continuously  involved in overseas deployment,  she said.                                                              
It runs  the regional  air operation center  (RAOC), which  is the                                                              
24-hour  mission   to  ensure  air  sovereignty,   and  the  State                                                              
Emergency   Response  Asset   is   managed   through  the   rescue                                                              
coordination  center. The  Air Guard  will  grow in  the next  few                                                              
years by about 250 personnel, she reported.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HUMMEL said  the  three major  units  of the  Alaska                                                              
Army   National  Guard   are   Joint  Forces   Headquarters,   the                                                              
Battlefield Surveillance  Brigade (which will be  eliminated), and                                                              
the 38th Troop  Command. She said  the good news is that  "we will                                                              
stand up  new units in  the Army Guard  at regional  support group                                                              
and  infantry battalion."  Having a  regional support  group is  a                                                              
good fit  as a brigade replacement,  because its focus  is defense                                                              
support to civil  authorities, she explained. "There  is a need to                                                              
exercise this  mission set in Korea,  which we hope to  be able to                                                              
take  opportunity  to do  that,  and  it  also focusses  on  force                                                              
protection  logistics and  all  the mission-essential  tasks  that                                                              
are,  by necessity,  exercised  during  defense support  to  civil                                                              
authorities'   types  of  situations."   She  said   the  Infantry                                                              
Battalion  that will  be  "stood up"  works  well for  recruiting,                                                              
especially in  rural Alaska, but it  does not have a  diversity of                                                              
occupational specialties  and does not allow the  force to recruit                                                              
many  women,  because women  are  not  found below  the  battalion                                                              
staff level. She  said she is entertaining the idea  of asking for                                                              
elements of  an engineer battalion,  because they  do construction                                                              
missions,  both   vertical  and   horizontal,  which  is   a  good                                                              
capability.   The  occupational   specialties  can  be   recruited                                                              
throughout the  state, and there  is an opportunity for  women and                                                              
men. Regarding  the operational relevance  of the Guard,  she said                                                              
she will focus  on the way forward, and she  suggested "increasing                                                              
our  strategic  alignment  within  the  Pacific  Command  area  of                                                              
responsibility  and strengthening  our partnerships."  There needs                                                              
to  be   regionally  aligned   federal  force  partnerships,   she                                                              
explained, and that  will ensure the guard's  relevance. Relevance                                                              
in the eyes  of the federal  force, the National Guard  Bureau, is                                                              
what  promotes funding  and force  structure. She  noted that  the                                                              
guard has  a successful state  partnership program  with Mongolia,                                                              
and she  said she  is considering  adding Nepal  as another  state                                                              
partnership  program. That  will  not only  increase relevance  in                                                              
the AOR [area  of responsibility], but it will  expand training in                                                              
cold weather and high altitude environments.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:46:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HUMMEL  stated that  the DMVA's Division  of Homeland                                                              
Security  &  Emergency  Management  (HSEM) is  captained  by  John                                                              
Madden, and  its mission  is to protect  people and  property from                                                              
all possible  hazards. She  proposed to  improve the  coordination                                                              
between the Guard  forces and HSEM with regard  to defense support                                                              
to  civil authorities.  She  said  that DMVA  needs  to work  more                                                              
closely with cities  and boroughs on response and  support, and it                                                              
has built partnerships  in Bethel, Valdez, Kenai,  and Barrow over                                                              
the last  couple of  years by  hosting exercises  in those  areas.                                                              
Commissioner   Hummel  noted   that   the  guard   has  not   been                                                              
continuously  focused  on  defense support  to  civil  authorities                                                              
over the  past 14  years, so she  sees that as  a focus  area. She                                                              
said  she wants  to  ensure, in  future  exercises,  that all  the                                                              
phases from  kick-off to  the finish  include the guard.  Usually,                                                              
she  said, the  guard comes  in during  the middle  to mitigate  a                                                              
hazard.  The initial  response is  the period  where a request  is                                                              
received and  assessed by the  State Emergency Operations  Center,                                                              
and at the end  of an exercise, the department  analyzes the cost,                                                              
efficiency,  and  effectiveness.  She  opined that  the  DMVA  has                                                              
exercised the middle  piece well, but she said it  needs to choose                                                              
the  best  defense force  and  follow  up  by accounting  for  the                                                              
lessons that were learned for future operations.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HUMMEL said  the Alaska  Military  Youth Academy  is                                                              
partnered with the  National Guard, and it is  consistently in the                                                              
top five  Challenge programs  in the country.  A study  found that                                                              
every  dollar  invested  in  these  programs  yields  considerable                                                              
savings in  societal costs, she  stated. Turning to the  Office of                                                              
Veterans  Affairs,  she  said  the   office  it  is  strategically                                                              
located  because  the Division  of  Vocational  Rehabilitation  is                                                              
upstairs.  It  is also  on  a  bus  route,  which showed  her  how                                                              
customer-oriented  the   director  is.  She  said   she  hopes  to                                                              
increase rural  outreach by  bringing division representatives  to                                                              
rural   exercise  missions,   improving   public  relations,   and                                                              
connecting  better  to veteran  service  organizations,  including                                                              
national  offices. She  noted  that many  female  veterans do  not                                                              
think  of themselves  as veterans  and of having  access to  those                                                              
services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:53:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   HUMMEL   turned    to   the   Office   of   Complex                                                              
Investigations   (OCI)   and  its   timeline   for   investigating                                                              
potential  misconduct  and  malfeasance  with  the  Alaska  guard.                                                              
There  has  been  a lot  of  self-assessment,  she  said,  before,                                                              
during,  and  after the  OCI  report.  She  spoke of  a  bi-weekly                                                              
"commanders  update briefing"  to  address "the  areas of  concern                                                              
that  were  an   outcome  from  the  OCI."  She   guaranteed  that                                                              
leadership  will take the  OCI report  and Judge Collins'  special                                                              
investigation and  use them "in every possible  manner to increase                                                              
the capacity  of the  National Guard and  to build and/or  rebuild                                                              
an effective  command climate."  She said there  is a  new special                                                              
victim counsel  on staff, loaned  from the National  Guard Bureau,                                                              
and she  deals exclusively with  sexual assault victims.  She said                                                              
she  is  also  focused  on getting  the  state  code  of  military                                                              
justice  into  statute  and  hiring  someone  to  coordinate  that                                                              
effort with the  legislature. Lastly, she said  she has identified                                                              
the need  for additional  legal assistance  within the  guard. The                                                              
Judge Advocate  General officers  and attorneys are  overworked in                                                              
a stressful  environment.  She said  she has  requested help  from                                                              
the National  Guard Bureau  with temporary  help or preference  at                                                              
paralegal  schools  to  fill  empty  slots.  The  bureau  is  very                                                              
receptive,  she added.  There were  five  areas noted  in the  OCI                                                              
report  that were turned  over to  internal teams,  and the  sixth                                                              
issue was  a finding  of fraud  and was  addressed in  an external                                                              
federal audit,  and although  all of  the results  are not  in, no                                                              
illegal  activity   was  found,  but  there   were  administrative                                                              
mistakes  in  accounting.  She  said  the  DMVA  will  be  at  the                                                              
listening sessions mentioned by Lieutenant General Handy.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:00:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  COGHILL thanked  the  speakers.  He said  he  went to  a                                                              
listening  session  a long  time  ago and  it  was  "a very  lofty                                                              
conversation." He  said it is a  nomination process, and  he hopes                                                              
"that we're  still nominating people  from Alaska." He  added that                                                              
he appreciates the focus on readiness for Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  REINBOLD  said  there   are  flyers  on  the  downsizing                                                              
events. The main  focus is for the members, leaders,  and partners                                                              
to have direct  input regarding the Army before  the decisions are                                                              
made. She  announced the time and  locations of the  sessions. She                                                              
stressed that  downing-sizing would  be devastating  for Fairbanks                                                              
or  Anchorage.  She requested  Mayor  Luke  Hopkins speak  to  the                                                              
committee about the Tiger Team.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:06:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LUKE  HOPKINS, Mayor,  Fairbanks  North  Star Borough,  said  that                                                              
after  [the terrorist  attacks  of  September 11,  2001],  another                                                              
mayor began monthly  civilian/military meetings to  discuss how to                                                              
work  together.  When there  was  a  "BRAC [base  realignment  and                                                              
closure] issue" in  2005 with Eielson Air Force Base,  there was a                                                              
similar effort,  he said. He spoke  of filling the  Carlson Center                                                              
"with red  shirts," and  there was  a team  that met regularly  on                                                              
that  issue.  When  the  downsizing   issues  came  around,  which                                                              
included  moving  F-16s, "we  created  a  Tiger Team"  to  include                                                              
members of  Congress, the assembly,  and non-elected  officials to                                                              
meet  every week.  The  assembly provided  funds  for studies  and                                                              
consultants,  he  added. He  said  there  was  a party  when  "the                                                              
announcement came  for the  F-35s," but there  is work to  be done                                                              
so the Tiger Team  will continue meeting. The State  of Alaska and                                                              
the  borough   are  members   of  the   "Association  of   Defense                                                              
Communities," and  that is  like a Tiger  Team but at  a different                                                              
level,  he explained,  and  Alaska is  in  competition with  other                                                              
states  for forces  and expenditures.  Senator John  McCain has  a                                                              
lot of  strength, he  noted. He  said, "So,  that's how  the Tiger                                                              
Team  works;  we're  continually  bringing  up issues  of  how  to                                                              
respond to the needs  that we think our community  should have and                                                              
serve the  military." With  regard to the  expansion of  JPARC, it                                                              
is  "a big  bite" for  Alaska, but  it  is important  to have  the                                                              
record of  decision made. He recalled  when a stealth  bomber came                                                              
to Eielson  Air Force  Base during  one of the  Red Flags,  and it                                                              
was hot-fueling;  "they  had the  simulation of  being able  to go                                                              
undetected just  as if  they were over  the Mediterranean  and the                                                              
enemy was trying  to identify that aircraft coming  in. That's how                                                              
big JPARC airspace is," he stated.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:15:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COGHILL  recalled that  the Tiger Team prepared  comments                                                              
for the environmental  impact statement for JPARC,  and it allowed                                                              
community members and  local aviation members to help.  He said it                                                              
also allowed the community to understand the military better.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MAYOR  HOPKINS  added that  the  legislature  is involved  in  the                                                              
Tiger  Team. The  group  does other  things  and is  working on  a                                                              
joint  land  use   study.  He  spoke  of  a   partnership  between                                                              
communities  and  individual bases,  including  small  businesses.                                                              
There are  nine subgroups  that meet  regularly, including  one on                                                              
sexual harassment,  which  includes the University  of Alaska.  He                                                              
said,  "We're  lowering the  cost  of  energy," and  that  affects                                                              
military families.  He spoke of unmanned aircraft and  ties to the                                                              
University  of  Alaska.  Industry  is allowed  to  work  with  the                                                              
military  in its  restricted airspace,  which  is a  big deal,  he                                                              
noted. He said  he wants to give  people on the base  a quality of                                                              
life by way of  public transportation. The team  works together to                                                              
solve problems that Alaska faces, he summarized.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:22:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  REINBOLD  noted that  CSHJR  13(MLV) passed  the  Alaska                                                              
House.  She   then  highlighted   the  importance  of   preventing                                                              
downsizing  because of [Alaska's]  strategic location,  deployment                                                              
platforms,  railroad connectivity,  and good  training areas.  She                                                              
quoted  Army Major  General William  Mitchell, father  of the  Air                                                              
Force, who  said:  "I  believe that in  the future,  whoever holds                                                              
Alaska will hold the world."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:24:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further business  before the committee,  the Joint                                                              
Armed Services Committee meeting was adjourned at 4:25 p.m.                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
JASC Agenda.docx JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
LtGen Russell J Handy Biography Nov 2014.doc JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
2015 JASC Testimony_part 1.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
2015 JASC Testimony_part 2.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
2015 JASC Testimony_part 3.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
2015 JASC Testimony_part 4.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
DMVA Overview_JASC 2015.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
Army listening session flyer.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
(MVA) (H) CSHJR13.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
HJR 13
HJR 13 CS Sponsor Statement.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
HJR 13
HJR 13 Fiscal Note.pdf JASC 2/17/2015 2:00:00 PM
HJR 13