Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS 519

03/11/2020 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 127(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved CSSSHB 182(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 30(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved HB 197 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved HB 223 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 223                                                                                                            
     "An Act naming the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Memorial                                                                     
9:14:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LADDIE  SHAW, SPONSOR, reported  that Vietnam                                                                    
was called  the helicopter  war, and  during that  war there                                                                    
were  12,000  helicopters that  flew  in  combat or  support                                                                    
missions. He reported 5,000  helicopters were destroyed, and                                                                    
40,000 pilots  served. He deferred  to his staff  to provide                                                                    
an overview of the bill.                                                                                                        
JOSH  WALTON,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE LADDIE  SHAW,  relayed                                                                    
that  the  bill named  bridges  1124  and 1889  the  Vietnam                                                                    
Helicopter Pilots' Memorial Bridge.  The bridges spanned the                                                                    
Matanuska River  Northbound and Southbound  at Mile  30.4 of                                                                    
the Glenn Highway.                                                                                                              
9:15:13 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Johnston OPENED public testimony.                                                                                      
9:15:31 AM                                                                                                                    
VIKKI JO KENNEDY, SELF, JUNEAU,  spoke in support of HB 223.                                                                    
She  recalled a  friend she  lost  to the  Vietnam War.  She                                                                    
thought a  memorial in Alaska for  Vietnam Helicopter Pilots                                                                    
was long overdue. She thanked  the committee for hearing her                                                                    
9:17:57 AM                                                                                                                    
TOM  STUDLER,  CHIEF  WARRANT OFFICER,  UNITED  STATES  ARMY                                                                    
(RETIRED), FAIRBANKS,  supported the bill. He  was a Vietnam                                                                    
Veteran.  He served  in Vietnam  and  flew on  hunter-killer                                                                    
teams.  He  thought it  was  ironic  the representative  had                                                                    
asked  him  to testify  on  the  bill. He  undoubtedly  flew                                                                    
Representative  Shaw,  a member  of  Seal  Team 1,  at  some                                                                    
point, as  they served in  the same  area at the  same time.                                                                    
One  of his  jobs  was to  support Seal  Team  1. The  other                                                                    
primary  mission of  his team  was with  Special Forces.  He                                                                    
flew on  a hunter-killer  team where their  job was  to find                                                                    
and seek  out the enemy.  He flew approximately  1,500 hours                                                                    
and was  shot down  five times during  his tour  in Vietnam.                                                                    
One of  those times was  across the  border in a  country in                                                                    
which they were  not it. It took  him a week to  get out. He                                                                    
could attest  that the  pilots and  crew members  in Vietnam                                                                    
had  a  very   tough  mission.  The  Vietnam   War  was  the                                                                    
"Helicopter  War."  He  thought  the  U.S.  Army  flew  more                                                                    
missions during  Vietnam than  any other  time. He  found it                                                                    
difficult to reflect  on his time in Vietnam  because of the                                                                    
many  friends he  lost -  the people  that sacrificed  their                                                                    
lives.  Just under  5,000 pilots  and crew  died during  the                                                                    
war. He  happened to  be personal friends  with a  couple of                                                                    
Medal  of Honor  recipients,  Chief  Warrant Officer  Gerald                                                                    
(Pappy) Devine  and Chief Warrant Officer  Mike Novosel, for                                                                    
their heroism flying dust off  missions. They returned time-                                                                    
after-time  to evacuate  the wounded.  He noted  the average                                                                    
life  of a  helicopter  pilot in  Vietnam  once engaged  was                                                                    
under  5 minutes.  The Vietnam  helicopter pilots  were very                                                                    
deserving of  the bill  for their  sacrifices made  to their                                                                    
Co-Chair  Johnston  thanked   Representative  Shaw  and  Mr.                                                                    
Studler for their service. She  remarked, "We never did that                                                                    
enough for the Vietnam Vets."                                                                                                   
9:21:21 AM                                                                                                                    
LYNN KYLE, PRESIDENT, ALASKA  CHAPTER OF VIETNAM HELICOPTERS                                                                    
PILOTS ASSOCIATION, EAGLE RIVER  (via teleconference), was a                                                                    
Vietnam  Veteran and  helicopter  pilot. He  noted that  the                                                                    
Alaska  Chapter was  an all  exclusive  group of  helicopter                                                                    
pilots  and  crew  and  had  89 members,  7  of  which  were                                                                    
deceased.  According  to  the  National  Vietnam  Helicopter                                                                    
Pilots Association, there  were over 300 pilots  and crew in                                                                    
Alaska. However,  finding everyone was ore  difficult, being                                                                    
that  they were  all senior  citizens. The  Vietnam conflict                                                                    
was a helicopter  war and the sacrifices made  by the pilots                                                                    
and  crews  could not  be  understated.  They brought  in  a                                                                    
revolutionary  way  of doing  business  which  was still  in                                                                    
existence. For  instance, medical  treatment was  a standard                                                                    
presently  and  started  in Vietnam.  Air  crews  flew  over                                                                    
500,000  missions  and saved  over  900,000  patients at  an                                                                    
astonishing rate  of 82 percent  survival. It  was currently                                                                    
used  in  all  of  the country's  combat  arms,  across  the                                                                    
country, and in Alaska. Many  people gave their lives to the                                                                    
cause.  Those  that  came home,  brought  their  skills  and                                                                    
provided  significant contributions  to  Alaska in  aviation                                                                    
capability.  He indicated  that many  Veterans were  passing                                                                    
away each day.  It would be an honorable  thing for Veterans                                                                    
to  see the  memorial. Their  contribution and  sacrifice to                                                                    
the  nation  was certainly  worthy  of  their legacy  to  be                                                                    
honored and a dedication of a  landmark in their honor was a                                                                    
historic  opportunity. He  recognized  funding  could be  an                                                                    
issue,  but   so  was   their  sacrifice.   He  emphatically                                                                    
supported the bill.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair Johnston thanked Mr. Kyle for his testimony and                                                                        
his service.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Johnston CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                      
9:24:05 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:24:16 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster MOVED to report HB 223 out of Committee                                                                         
with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal                                                                     
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
HB 223 was REPORTED OUT of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                           
recommendation and one previously published fiscal note:                                                                        
FN1 (DOT).                                                                                                                      
Co-Chair Johnston reviewed the agenda for the afternoon.                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 30 public Testimony Red'd by 030920.pdf HFIN 3/11/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 30
HB 182 Public Testimony Rec'd by 031020.pdf HFIN 3/11/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 182
HB 127 v. S 3.10.2020.pdf HFIN 3/11/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 127
HB 127 AK Board of Dental Examiners Letter of Support 3.9.2020.pdf HFIN 3/11/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 127