The proposal to relocate the 18th Aggressor Squadron’s 21 F-16s from Eielson, located 25 miles southeast of Fairbanks, to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage is intended to save money. It’s part of an $8.7 billion dollar cut to the Air Force budget. Alaska is one of 33 states with bases affected by proposed cuts.
Alaska’s congressional delegation and Gov. Sean Parnell expressed that concern in a letter sent Wednesday to the Air Force’s secretary and chief of staff stating that “When volcanoes near Anchorage erupt, the air space can close. While the Air Force has measures in place to respond to a volcanic eruption, the cost of relocating the fighter planes to another base would be increased if the F-16s were at Elmendorf-Richardson.”
So…. the issue here as I’m reading it is moving from 25 miles SE of Fairbanks to Anchorage where there is a greater risk of ash.
Well…. let’s take a closer look at the situation…
Here’s a map of Alaska near Anchorage from the Alaka Volcano Observatory.
Upwind from Anchorage we have Spurr
Next to Fairbanks we have (also from AVO):
A tuff ring and a dome.
My humble opinion is … don’t move the planes. Just sayin’