Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/14/1995 05:01 PM MLV

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
         JOINT HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND                         
            AND VETERANS AFFAIRS AND SENATE FINANCE                            
         SUBCOMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS                         
                       February 14, 1995                                       
                           5:01 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                         
                                                                               
 Representative Ivan M. Ivan, Co-Chairman                                      
 Representative Eldon Mulder, Vice-Chair                                       
 Representative Richard Foster                                                 
 Representative Ed Willis                                                      
                                                                               
 HOUSE MEMBERS ABSENT                                                          
                                                                               
 Representative Pete Kott, Co-Chairman                                         
 Representative Gail Phillips                                                  
 Representative John Davies                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                        
                                                                               
 Senator Randy Phillips, Chairman                                              
 Senator Fred Zharoff                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATE MEMBERS ABSENT                                                         
                                                                               
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 Confirmation hearing for Major General Jake Lestenkof,                        
 Commissioner Designate, Department of Military and Veterans                   
 Affairs                                                                       
                                                                               
 Joint overview with Senate Finance Subcommittee for the                       
 department of Military and Veterans Affairs.                                  
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 Major General Jake Lestenkof, Commissioner Designate                          
 Department of Military and Veterans Affairs                                   
 P.O. Box 5800                                                                 
 Fort Richardson, AK  99505-5800                                               
 Telephone:  (907) 428-6003                                                    
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-3, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 The Joint House Special Committee on Military and Veterans                    
 Affairs and the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Military and                   
 Veterans Affairs was called to order by Co-Chairman Ivan M. Ivan              
 at 5:01 p.m.  Members present at the call to order were                       
 Representatives Ivan, Foster, Willis.  Members absent were                    
 Representatives Mulder, Phillips, and Davies.  Senate members                 
 present were Senator Phillips and Zharoff.  Senate members absent             
 were Senator Miller.                                                          
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN M. IVAN noted for the record that Representative             
 Mulder was expected to arrive shortly to make a quorum.  He                   
 recognized Senate Finance Subcommittee on Military and Veterans               
 Affairs members present.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 030                                                                    
                                                                               
 Major General Jake Lestenkof, Commissioner Designate, Department              
 of Military and Veterans Affairs, summarized his resume                       
 chronologically beginning with birth June 3, 1932, on Saint                   
 George Island, Alaska; education, graduate from Mt. Edgecumbe                 
 High School in 1951; joined the military service 1951-1954,                   
 served in the U.S. and Korea;  1955-1959, U.S. Public Health                  
 Service;  1959-1974, Director of Operations and Training, Alaska,             
 Department of Military and Veterans Affairs;  1974-1975,                      
 Director, Manpower Development, Alaska Federation of Natives;                 
 1975-1976, Executive Vice-President, Alaska Federation of                     
 Natives;  1977-1981, Executive Director, Cook Inlet Native                    
 Association;  1981-1988, Area Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs,             
 U.S. Department of Interior;  1987-1990, Assistant Adjutant                   
 General, Alaska National Guard;  1988-1990, Deputy Commissioner,              
 Department of Community and Regional Affairs;   1992-present,                 
 Trust Administrator, Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.                           
                                                                               
 Number 103                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN asked if members had any questions or comments.              
 He stated the committee would like to move forward with Major                 
 General Lestenkof's confirmation.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 111                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD FOSTER moved and asked unanimous consent               
 to move forward the confirmation of Major General Lestenkof.  A               
 quorum was not available at this time.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 120                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked Major General Lestenkof if he had                
 any questions of them.                                                        
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF responded, "No."                                      
                                                                               
 Number 123                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN requested Major General Lestenkof to continue                
 with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs overview.                
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF stated folders were available and he                  
 introduced Captain Mike Maller and Jeff Morrison of his staff.                
 He briefly mentioned how the cold war affected past operations in             
 Alaska and how the end of the cold war will affect future                     
 operations.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 132                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN noted for the record that Representative Mulder had               
 joined the meeting at 5:18 p.m.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 133                                                                    
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF presented the overview by organization                
 and major components within the department.  As the Commissioner              
 and Adjutant General of Alaska, he commands air, army and naval               
 units.  Joint staff reporting directly to him include the Judge               
 Advocate, the I.U.G., the J1 who deals with personal matters and              
 the J4 who deals with all federal logistical matters.                         
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF reviewed the major components of the                  
 Department of Military and Veterans Affairs which consist of the              
 Alaska Army National Guard, Air Guard, Emergency Services,  Naval             
 Militia and Veterans Affairs.  These are large full time                      
 organizations within the department.  Additionally, there is the              
 State Defense Force which is a volunteer organization and                     
 traditional support divisions such as administrative services and             
 facilities management.                                                        
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF continued the overview by division.  The              
 largest component is the Army National Guard.  He stated the most             
 significant change in the Army National Guard is down sizing                  
 activity.  This is due to the entire country's military structure             
 down sizing.  The agreement entitled, Off Site Agreement,                     
 recently reached between the active Army, the Army Guard, and the             
 Army Reserves sets ceilings.  This down sizing will affect the                
 number of  personal in Alaska from approximately 3,900 to 2,300.              
 He reviewed the Doctrinal changes regarding how Eskimo Scouts                 
 operate in a war environment.  The scouts were originally                     
 designed to remain in place which meant fighting in the village.              
 They are now being trained to operate in a world arena,                       
 converting them into long range scout units.  He stated the                   
 aircraft conversion such as aircraft reduction programs will also             
 affect Alaska.  There are 26 UH1 helicopter units leaving our                 
 system.  The department is trying to replace these units with                 
 CH47 aircrafts.                                                               
 Number 265                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER excused his interruption and moved by                   
 unanimous consent to forward the confirmation of Major General                
 Jake Lestenkof.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                 
                                                                               
 Number 271                                                                    
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF continued his review of the Army National             
 Guard.  The Army is maneuvering into world training and                       
 operations.  They search world wide for mission related                       
 operational training areas.  He reviewed the organizational                   
 structure of the Air Guard.  Established in 1952, with 16 WWII                
 veterans and one airplane, the Air Guard has grown to a world                 
 ranging deployable lift and refueling operation.  He reviewed the             
 Air Refueling Squadron, the 210th Rescue Squadron, the Rescue                 
 Coordination Center and the Combat Communication Center.  He                  
 stated the Combat Communications Flight Division will increase                
 from 24 to 54 personal, adding 30 positions in Anchorage.  A new              
 unit under consideration is an Air Traffic Control Squadron.                  
 The National Guard Bureau proposed this unit.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 353                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRED ZHAROFF asked what is an Air Traffic Control                     
 Squadron?                                                                     
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF responded the Air Traffic Control                     
 Squadron is an emergency combat air control field operation.                  
 When air units deploy into a combat environment on unimproved air             
 strips, the Air Traffic Control Division will set up air control              
 operations within the area.  They will also train individuals in              
 air traffic control.                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked if it is a military or civilian operation?              
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF responded military.                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked where will the unit be stationed?                       
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF responded in Anchorage.  It will be a                 
 deployable air traffic control operation.  He reviewed the                    
 economic and social impact the Guard has on Alaska.  The Guards               
 payroll consists of 97 percent federal funds or a total of $138               
 million and $4.5 million state funds.  The Guard has over 4,000               
 full and part-time employees with leadership developed among                  
 members.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 387                                                                    
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF summarized the Division of Emergency                  
 Services, the Alaska Naval Militia and the Alaska State Defense               
 Force.  He stated the Division of Emergency Services has improved             
 its' standards and works very closely with the Federal Emergency              
 Management Agency (FEMA) Program during disasters.  He stated the             
 Alaska Naval Militia and the Alaska State Defense Force are both              
 volunteer organizations.  Their primary mission is to back up the             
 Alaska National Guard, disaster response, maritime support and                
 support staff for the Alaska National Guard Youth Corps.                      
                                                                               
 Number 433                                                                    
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF reviewed Veterans Affairs Division.  He               
 stated Alaska has over 73,000 veterans.  He expressed concern                 
 over services veterans receive.  The department will be                       
 requesting additional funding for Veterans Affairs.                           
                                                                               
 Number 441                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR PHILLIPS questioned re-fund veterans position and is the              
 position related to the directorship?                                         
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF responded the department is considering a             
 special assistant position.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 448                                                                    
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF continued the overview with the                       
 Facilities Maintenance and Administrative Support Divisions.  He              
 stated these are both typical support divisions.  Administration              
 provides support to the department and facilities maintenance                 
 covers over 200 state owned facilities in Alaska.  The department             
 requests adequate funding for facilities to ensure safe                       
 maintained buildings.   Major General Lestenkof concluded his                 
 overview.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 468                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN thanked Major General Lestenkof for the overview             
 and asked if members had questions or comments?                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS asked when we deploy units or groups of              
 personal overseas, are these individuals federalized at some                  
 point?                                                                        
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF responded they are federalized if they                
 are being deployed in connection with war or certain peace                    
 keeping situations.  They will be federalized individually or as              
 part of a unit.  If they are deployed for training, they are on               
 state duty or training status and not federalized.                            
                                                                               
 Number 487                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN stated his support and respect of the National               
 Guard Program which also provides educational opportunities.                  
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF added as the Guard is considered world                
 deployable and actively seeks world wide missions, the                        
 requirement for the individual guardsmen has changed.  The                    
 proficiency level increased for guardsmen, additional training                
 and preparedness have also improved.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 510                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR PHILLIPS asked if he was informed on the progress of the              
 challenge program for juveniles at Camp Carroll?                              
                                                                               
 MAJOR GENERAL LESTENKOF responded he was aware of the program.                
 It is a good program and Alaska is one of 15 states that have                 
 this program.  The program had 43 graduates in 1994, who all have             
 positive goals  and plans for the future.                                     
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the House Special              
 Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN                  
 adjourned the meeting at 5:39 p.m.                                            
                                                                               

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