Legislature(1999 - 2000)

02/02/1999 04:05 PM MLV

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
HJR 8 - NATIONAL BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI brought before the committee House Joint                                                                        
Resolution No. 8, relating to a national ballistic missile                                                                      
defense system.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 023                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN HARRIS, Alaska State Legislature, prime                                                                     
sponsor, came forward to present the resolution.  He told members                                                               
HJR 8 deals with an issue similar to the Star Wars project                                                                      
discussed during the Reagan Administration; it also deals with                                                                  
protection of the United States and other countries through a                                                                   
missile defense system that he and others are working hard to                                                                   
have deployed in Alaska, and which depends upon approval by the                                                                 
U.S. Congress and the President.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 061                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked whether there would be any advantage                                                                 
to sending a copy to all members of the U.S. House of                                                                           
Representatives.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS expressed the hope that if the resolution                                                                 
is sent to the Alaska Delegation, it will get to the other                                                                      
members.  However, he agreed that could be ensured through the                                                                  
wording.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 084                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked whether the United States should get                                                                 
out of or amend the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS said his understanding is that the present                                                                
relationship will have to be eliminated first, because it is with                                                               
the Soviet Union, which no longer exists; under that agreement,                                                                 
he believes the system would have to be located in North Dakota,                                                                
for example.  A new relationship would likely be with Russia,                                                                   
which may be less stable and have less interest in developing                                                                   
this relationship.  He suggested Mr. Nelson could address the                                                                   
issue more completely.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 114                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI asked whether Representative Harris would                                                                       
consider adding Secretary of Defense William Cohen to the list of                                                               
those being sent copies of HJR 8.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS indicated he had no objection, then                                                                       
specified that on page 2, line 8, following "United States", the                                                                
phrase, "the Honorable William Cohen, Secretary of Defense,"                                                                    
would be inserted.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 136                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT made a motion to adopt that amendment.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI asked if there was any objection; none was heard.                                                               
She then referred members to page 1, lines 9 - 11, which says the                                                               
United States has recognized that it currently has no means of                                                                  
protecting all of its citizens from attack by these new threats.                                                                
Mentioning that U.S. citizens may reside in another country, she                                                                
suggested it say, "protecting Americans living in all 50 states".                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS noted that it says that on line 15.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI proposed using that same language on line 10.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS indicated he had no problem with that.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 170                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to adopt that as an amendment.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT objected, asking what the exact amendment is.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI clarified that the proposed amendment is to                                                                     
replace  "all of its citizens" with "Americans living in all 50                                                                 
states".                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT withdrew his objection, then suggested that                                                                 
statement ["currently has no means of protecting"] may not be                                                                   
completely true, as he knew of training in response to similar                                                                  
situations.  He asked to hear from others on that issue.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 193                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL proposed saying "borders" instead of                                                                     
"citizens" on line 10.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES suggested that "Americans" is too narrow,                                                                  
and that "citizens" or "residents" would be more inclusive.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS replied, "Either way," then agreed that                                                                   
"borders" probably includes both citizens and noncitizens.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI proposed waiting until after hearing additional                                                                 
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 224                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES withdrew her motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 236                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS NELSON, Staff Director, Joint Committee on Military Bases,                                                                
Alaska State Legislature, came forward to testify in support of                                                                 
HJR 8.  He told members that on August 21, 1998, North Korea                                                                    
launched a multi-stage ballistic missile that overflew Japan and                                                                
landed in the North Pacific; it was the signal event that focused                                                               
discussion regarding the threat to the United States.  In                                                                       
addition, last week Secretary of Defense Cohen announced that the                                                               
U.S. would pursue a ballistic missile defense of the nation,                                                                    
indicating two sites were under consideration:  Alaska and North                                                                
Dakota.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON advised members that the previous week, while in                                                                     
Washington, D.C., he met with Brigadier General Willie Nance,                                                                   
program manager for the national ballistic missile defense                                                                      
organization.  On Monday, February 22, Brigadier General Nance                                                                  
would come to Juneau specifically to brief legislators.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON explained that under the terms of the 1972 ABM Treaty,                                                               
each nation designated a single site for a ballistic missile                                                                    
defense system.  The Soviet Union chose Moscow, its capital,                                                                    
whereas the United States chose North Dakota, which has the                                                                     
missile fields for the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic                                                                     
missile.  At the breakup of the Soviet Union, the U.S. said it                                                                  
would recognize its treaty obligations with the survivor states,                                                                
which were determined last summer, for purposes of the ABM                                                                      
Treaty, to be Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON told members Secretary Cohen's announcement had                                                                      
indicated the U.S. would approach the Russians to renegotiate the                                                               
ABM Treaty; but Secretary Cohen had also stated that if the                                                                     
Russians were not agreeable to changes or amendments, then the                                                                  
U.S., under the terms of the treaty, would exercise its right to                                                                
abrogate the treaty and go forward on this.  Mr. Nelson                                                                         
emphasized that the federal Administration had decided there will                                                               
be a national ballistic missile defense system.  The question is                                                                
where.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON explained that Alaska is the only location from which                                                                
all 50 states can be defended, because its strategic position                                                                   
allows defense of Alaska and Hawaii.  He said SJR 30, passed by                                                                 
the Twentieth Alaska State Legislature, noted that a national                                                                   
intelligence estimate published in 1995 talked about the threat                                                                 
to the Lower 48 but completely omitted discussion of Alaska and                                                                 
Hawaii.  That resolution, which sparked a lot of debate, called                                                                 
upon the President to exercise his responsibilities as the                                                                      
Commander in Chief, as well as the constitutional obligation to                                                                 
provide for the common defense of the citizens in every state.                                                                  
An article in the Wall Street Journal had covered the                                                                           
legislature's action.  The Heritage Foundation had also picked                                                                  
this up and distributed it nationally.  Mr. Nelson said it really                                                               
put Alaska on the cutting edge in the debate.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON indicated the ballistic missile defense office's                                                                     
representatives were in Alaska in December.  He said that office                                                                
has been conducting initial scoping sessions for an environmental                                                               
impact statement on four Alaska sites:  the Yukon Maneuver Area                                                                 
at Fort Wainwright, Eielson Air Force Base, Clear Air Force                                                                     
Station in Anderson, and Fort Greely in Delta Junction.  Public                                                                 
hearings had been held in all four locations, with an additional                                                                
public hearing in Anchorage.  Mr. Nelson said when he had visited                                                               
their office in Washington, D.C., the previous week, they were                                                                  
just about finished with initial assessments, and they are coming                                                               
close to making the decision on where to site the system itself.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON told members it would be wonderful if the legislature                                                                
could greet Brigadier General Nance on February 22 with a                                                                       
resolution showing unanimous and bipartisan support for this                                                                    
system.  He pointed out that the growing threat to the U.S. is                                                                  
not from a Cold War, with a possible massive nuclear attack from                                                                
another superpower, but from a so-called rogue nation like North                                                                
Korea.  He referred to the North Korean missile recently launched                                                               
in the direction of the U.S., then concluded, "They were testing                                                                
to see how close they could get to us.  And I think that it is                                                                  
important for our citizens here in Alaska, and important for the                                                                
citizens of all the United States, that that system be deployed                                                                 
here in Alaska just as soon as it is feasible."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 343                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked whether, setting aside the ABM Treaty                                                                
restriction, the siting decision is all or nothing.  For example,                                                               
could some be in North Dakota and some in Alaska?                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON said there could be that decision.  The military value                                                               
of Alaska is the ability to defend all 50 states and make a                                                                     
launch closer to the launch of an incoming missile from just                                                                    
about all areas from which one could potentially be launched.                                                                   
The advantage of North Dakota is that it allows a few more                                                                      
seconds of battle time, enabling a "shoot-look-shoot" scenario.                                                                 
If a missile were coming at the Lower 48, from North Dakota they                                                                
could launch an intercept missile, have a chance to see how that                                                                
missile did, then make a second launch.  If Alaska were the sole                                                                
site, there would be a "shoot-shoot-shoot" scenario, "where                                                                     
basically we would throw everything up there and hit it that                                                                    
way."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON specified that the intercept vehicle is a kinetic                                                                    
intercept vehicle that hits the missile in flight, and it is an                                                                 
exo-atmospheric intercept; in other words, the missile is                                                                       
intercepted in space before it reenters the atmosphere.  He said                                                                
there has been talk of a more redundant system, adding that in                                                                  
the history of air defense systems, the only ones that have                                                                     
really worked on a continuous basis are the Soviet systems that                                                                 
worked in North Vietnam and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War in the                                                                   
Middle East; those are redundant systems that have multiple                                                                     
launchers with different capabilities and that give an                                                                          
overlapping umbrella.  A good military value argument can be made                                                               
for both sites.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 372                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if Alaska is better because of an                                                                    
assumption that an attack will come across the Pacific Ocean or                                                                 
if it has something to do with the trajectory.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON said the nations of greatest concern, the so-called                                                                  
rogue nations, would launch across the North Pole.  Alaska's                                                                    
geographic position allows faster interception, and defense of                                                                  
Alaska and Hawaii.  There is a constitutional obligation to                                                                     
provide for the common defense.  "If you want to write off Alaska                                                               
and Hawaii, and those Americans who live here, then North Dakota                                                                
makes perfect sense," he added, emphasizing that Alaska is a                                                                    
target now.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 394                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked why Alaska could defend North Dakota                                                                 
but not the other way around.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON explained that a missile's delivery time from North                                                                  
Korea to Alaska, for example, would not allow sufficient time                                                                   
from North Dakota.  However, if the same missile were aimed at                                                                  
North Dakota, there would be sufficient intercept time throughout                                                               
the missile's path for an Alaska-launched missile to intercept                                                                  
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked for confirmation that there is little                                                                
likelihood of a missile attack from over the Atlantic Ocean.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON affirmed that, saying it would be a longer flight path                                                               
to launch from the Middle East across the Mediterranean and the                                                                 
Atlantic Ocean, to hit a site on the East Coast.  It would be                                                                   
easier for Iraq or Iran, for example, to do an over-the-Pole                                                                    
launch, to hit a variety of targets in North America.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked, "But if they did shoot over the                                                                     
Atlantic and tried to hit Florida, we can still intercept that                                                                  
from Alaska?"                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON said yes, Alaska's reach is total across the territory                                                               
of the United States.  He urged members to direct these excellent                                                               
questions to Brigadier General Nance when he visits Juneau.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 415                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked if HJR 8 should perhaps mention the                                                                
ABM Treaty.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON said he believes the resolution addresses the fact                                                                   
that the world has changed, and that treaty constraints and                                                                     
diplomatic understandings valid during the Cold War are no longer                                                               
valid or a threat.  He suggested that HJR 8 probably doesn't need                                                               
to go further than that, then stated that the Administration has                                                                
indicated, through Secretary Cohen's statements, its intention to                                                               
renegotiate the treaty.  He added, "Secretary Cohen has gone even                                                               
further and indicated that in his view, as the official charged                                                                 
with the defense of our nation, that if the surviving states are                                                                
unwilling to renegotiate the treaty, then we would be within our                                                                
rights under the treaty to abrogate it, given sufficient notice.                                                                
So, I think that the 'treaty compliant' issue is being dealt                                                                    
with, and that the Administration has made the decision, that it                                                                
sees its responsibility to defend all 50 states."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 434                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked about defending Puerto Rico or any                                                                   
other territory.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON suggested that would be best answered by Brigadier                                                                   
General Nance, then stated his understanding that Puerto Rico,                                                                  
specifically, probably would be included.  However, places                                                                      
farther out in the Pacific such as American Samoa, Guam and some                                                                
others may be a bit far afield.  Mr. Nelson noted that as this                                                                  
system has evolved, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has                                                                      
developed a series of maps showing Alaska's unique strategic                                                                    
location, from which "we really can reach and do anything in the                                                                
Northern Hemisphere."  Although a launch from the Southern                                                                      
Hemisphere would be somewhat different, thus far a proliferation                                                                
of missile technology that would lead to this has not been seen                                                                 
there.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 459                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PHILLIP OATES, Colonel, Adjutant General/Commissioner Designee,                                                                 
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, testified via                                                                      
teleconference from Anchorage.  He said it is important to                                                                      
understand that it would not be treaty compliant to have the                                                                    
location either all in the Dakotas, all in Alaska, or in a                                                                      
combination of the two.  He emphasized that it was the collapse                                                                 
of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) that raised the                                                               
question of whether the treaty still exists, and he reminded                                                                    
members of the importance of discussing aspects of the treaty.                                                                  
He said another advantage of doing this from Alaska is where the                                                                
intercept would be; whether it would be over a landmass such as                                                                 
in Alaska, Canada or portions of the U.S. is a consideration.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES said other than that, he believes the resolution is                                                               
appropriate and that he welcomes Brigadier General Nance's visit.                                                               
He expressed the belief that the work on the environmental                                                                      
aspects of the site selection is on course, as is the technology.                                                               
He said the goal in Alaska at this point, from the military side,                                                               
is to facilitate the work in Alaska, so that when the decision is                                                               
made, they will be prepared to assist in fielding of the system.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 497                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referred to lines 9 and 10, where it says                                                                   
that the U.S. currently has no means of protecting all of its                                                                   
citizens from attack.  He asked whether it may be more                                                                          
appropriate to replace "no" with "limited."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES replied, "I don't feel we have even a limited                                                                     
ability to protect our citizens at this point in time, unless                                                                   
protection is actually going to the source that would be                                                                        
launching it and doing something prior to the launch."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 511                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI asked when a siting decision might be released.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES said it is a little premature to even guess.  From                                                                
a siting perspective, although the time line is quite tight, he                                                                 
believes Alaska is on schedule.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked for confirmation that this ballistic                                                                 
missile program is still in the design phase.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES replied, "We are in the process of developing the                                                                 
technology.  Boeing is the lead system integrator on it.  But I                                                                 
can tell you that, to date, technology for ballistic missile                                                                    
defense is having much more success than some of the theater air                                                                
defense programs.  The tests to date have been successful.  We're                                                               
looking here in the very near-term future to the next series of                                                                 
tests, which will include an actual intercept.  And I would say                                                                 
if that goes as we expect it to go, I think that the technology                                                                 
is further along than ever before in our history, and I don't                                                                   
think we'll experience the same problems that the (indisc.)                                                                     
program had."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 546                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if it would be anticipated, then, that                                                               
the site selection, preparation, environmental impact statement                                                                 
and so forth would be done in conjunction with the development of                                                               
the technology, with the hope that when the development is                                                                      
finished, the site would be determined and ready to go.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES answered yes, specifying that it is based on the                                                                  
original "3 plus 3" time line: three years to develop the                                                                       
technology, to prepare and select the sites, and to resolve the                                                                 
treaty aspects; and the next three years for fielding the system.                                                               
He concluded, "Right now, we're meeting that time line                                                                          
requirement."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI informed members that she had received from Delta                                                               
Junction a faxed copy of 295 signatures from the residents of                                                                   
Fort Greely, expressing their desire for the national missile                                                                   
defense site.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 573                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LAUREL BARGER-SHEEN, Department of Economic Development, City of                                                                
Delta Junction, testified briefly via teleconference in support                                                                 
of HJR 8.  [The sound quality was extremely poor.]  She told                                                                    
members the signatures just mentioned had been collected over a                                                                 
period of four to five weeks, following meetings in Town Hall at                                                                
the beginning of the year.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[Blank tape at end of Side A and beginning of Side B -- tape was                                                                
flipped before next testifier spoke.]                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-1, SIDE B                                                                                                               
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES referred to page 2, line 5, which said, "the common                                                               
defense of our nation by selecting an Alaska site".  He pointed                                                                 
out that whether Alaska or North Dakota participates, there will                                                                
be more than one site, because the system requires an X-Band                                                                    
Radar (XBR); a Battle Management, Command and Control (BMC2)                                                                    
center; and the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) field.  He                                                                       
suggested saying, "the common defense of our nation by selecting                                                                
sites that allow for protection of all 50 states of our union."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI asked whether his suggestion included the phrase,                                                               
"Alaska sites."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES agreed "sites" is appropriate.  However, it                                                                       
wouldn't have to specify "Alaska" and would still say the same                                                                  
thing, but in a kinder and gentler way.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 050                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to adopt Colonel Oates'                                                                      
suggestion as an amendment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if the committee had ever addressed                                                                  
Chair Murkowski's proposed changes to page 1, lines 10 and                                                                      
possibly 15.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI said no, then asked whether Colonel Oates had                                                                   
been on teleconference when the committee had discussed revisions                                                               
to page 1, line 10, which says "no means of protecting all of its                                                               
citizens from attack by these new threats."  She noted that                                                                     
consistency with line 15 had been suggested, so that line 10                                                                    
would read, "protecting Americans living in all 50 states from                                                                  
attack by these new threats".                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES said he believes he'd agree with that.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 077                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved to adopt as a friendly amendment that                                                                
both lines 10 and 15 would say, "persons living in all 50                                                                       
states".                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI noted that there was no objection.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 082                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA asked for clarification about whether the                                                                 
proposed amendment on page 2, line 5, would say "by selecting                                                                   
sites".                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI said that was how she had inserted it after                                                                     
Colonel Oates' suggestion.  She asked the will of the body.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 098                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to move HJR 8, as amended,                                                                   
from the committee with individual recommendations and attached                                                                 
fiscal notes, if any.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 104                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT offered a friendly amendment on page 1, line                                                                
12.  He noted that they are trying to drive this point home to                                                                  
high-ranking military and government officials.  He offered that                                                                
rather than "four locations in the state", for consistency it                                                                   
should say, "four locations in Alaska".  He also suggested, on                                                                  
page 2, line 2, changing "armed forces stationed here" to "armed                                                                
forces stationed in Alaska".                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI asked whether there was any objection; none was                                                                 
heard.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 122                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES, noting the number of changes made, asked to                                                               
amend her motion to include that after the committee substitute                                                                 
(CS) is prepared, the members be allowed to see it before                                                                       
transfer  to the next committee.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI agreed that would be appropriate.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 134                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked for clarification about how the                                                                     
amendment to page 2, line 5, read.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI said she understood it to read, "to provide for                                                                 
the common defense of our nation by selecting sites that allow                                                                  
for protection of all 50 states for the deployment of a national                                                                
ballistic defense system."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS said he agrees with Representative Kott,                                                                  
and that to be consistent, it should perhaps say, "by selecting                                                                 
Alaskan sites".                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded that the discussion with Colonel                                                                 
Oates had indicated there would be several sites; she said it                                                                   
could be possible that one site might be in North Dakota and some                                                               
in Alaska, for example.  In addition, they were trying to not                                                                   
make it so parochial, and to emphasize that whatever sites are                                                                  
selected should be able to defend all 50 states.  She added that                                                                
she personally didn't have a real feeling about it one way or the                                                               
other, although the plural "sites" is a good idea.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS restated his desire to make sure "Alaska"                                                                 
is in there, to be consistent and to put forward Alaska's                                                                       
interests.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI asked whether Representative James had a problem                                                                
with the language, "selecting Alaska sites".                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said no.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 177                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he didn't have a problem with it,                                                                     
either, but it seemed that there may be a combination, with some                                                                
sites possible in North Dakota.  He suggested it should say "an                                                                 
Alaska site" or "all Alaska sites".                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated his understanding that only one site                                                                 
would be selected in Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON told members that Colonel Oates had correctly pointed                                                                
out that there are a number of types of facilities in the overall                                                               
national ballistic missile defense system, some of which will be                                                                
sited here, such as the acquisition radar at Eareckson Air                                                                      
Station.  With HJR 8, they hope to address the fact that of the                                                                 
potential launch facilities - the actual missile intercept launch                                                               
sites - Alaska has four sites being considered.  The selection                                                                  
among those four sites should be made by the national ballistic                                                                 
missile defense organization, based on what they consider the                                                                   
highest military value; they certainly have the option of putting                                                               
additional sites into North Dakota.  Mr. Nelson concluded, "I                                                                   
don't think that we have to apologize for being advocates for the                                                               
state of Alaska.  I think that's correct and proper for the                                                                     
Alaska legislature to do, simply because it guarantees the safety                                                               
and security and defense of our own citizens."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 209                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT referred to the Department of Defense fact                                                                 
sheet in committee packets, stating his understanding that the                                                                  
Ground Based Interceptors (GBIs) have to be located at one of the                                                               
four Alaska sites.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. NELSON replied, "That's what we are advocating."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT agreed it is proper to ensure the defense of                                                               
Alaska's citizens, then suggested that whereas "we want the site                                                                
here" may sound parochial, "we want a site that protects us" does                                                               
not.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 225                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES said in discussing these issues with a                                                                            
congressional delegation sometime back, he had understood that                                                                  
the decision was not to argue for any specific site and yet argue                                                               
for protection of all 50 states, to avoid political in-fighting.                                                                
Although HJR 8 is an Alaska resolution, he indicated an interest                                                                
in protecting all 50 states.  He agreed that the GBI siting is                                                                  
the most important, because it allows protection of all 50 states                                                               
from Alaska but not from other locations.  He concluded by saying                                                               
either wording would be right and appropriate.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 251                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that page 1, lines 12 and 13, which                                                                  
says four locations in Alaska are currently being considered as                                                                 
sites for the deployment of the intercept vehicles, is specific.                                                                
He proposed as an amendment that page 2, lines 5 and 6, read:                                                                   
"the common defense of our nation by selecting an Alaska site for                                                               
the deployment of the intercept vehicles for the national                                                                       
ballistic ... missile defense system."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented that page 1, lines 14 - 16,                                                                      
already says that any of these locations currently being                                                                        
considered provides the unmatched military value of a strategic                                                                 
location from which Americans living in all 50 states can be                                                                    
defended, as required.  She suggested it didn't need to be                                                                      
restated.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 273                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI asked if there was any objection to                                                                             
Representative Croft's amendment, then noted that none was heard.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 285                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI told members the new CS would be provided to                                                                    
members.  She asked whether there was any objection to the motion                                                               
to move HJR 8, as amended, from the committee with individual                                                                   
recommendations and attached fiscal notes, if any.  There being                                                                 
no objection, CSHJR 8(MLV) moved from the House Special Committee                                                               
on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 300                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS NELSON reminded members that all legislators are invited to                                                               
meet with Brigadier General Nance on February 22 in the Speaker's                                                               
office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL OATES applauded Mr. Nelson for his tireless work for                                                                    
Alaska in this endeavor.  [CSHJR 8(MLV) was moved from the                                                                      
committee.]                                                                                                                     

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