Donald Young

Donald Young

ALASKA

Alaskan Priorities and Interests Spread Throughout House FY17 NDAA

2016/04/28

Washington, D.C. – Early this morning the House Armed Services Committee approved H.R. 4909, the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bipartisan bill authorizing national defense spending for domestic and overseas operations. Alaska Congressman Don Young successfully secured numerous Alaska-focused provisions within the bill, which passed the Armed Services Committee by a vote of 60-2.

“Alaska offers so much to our military; unwavering support for our service members, unparalleled training areas, proximity to the Asia-Pacific, and a mutually shared respect between our Alaska-based military and our communities,” said Congressman Young. “As Congress works to reauthorize military funding for the coming year, it’s important that these characteristics remain at the forefront.  I’m proud to say that this year’s NDAA builds upon a number of recent military successes in Alaska. By working with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee, we’ve been able to ensure Alaskan needs and priorities are reflected throughout this bill, including language to protect the future of JBER’s 4-25, meet the needs of the Alaska National Guard, transfer unused federal lands to our local communities, and update the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) procurement process. During these times of growing global threats, we must ensure our military men and women have the resources they need to serve the mission. This bipartisan legislation works to restore the strength and ability of our military, while recognizing the vital importance of Alaska.”

Language Secured by Congressman Young in the FY 2017 NDAA:

H.R.4424, the Rural Guard and Reserve Act:

  • This bill seeks to eliminate barriers facing rural members of the National Guard and Reserves by reforming an arbitrary reimbursement cap for members traveling to training exercises and activities.
  • Congressman Young introduced the Rural Guard and Reserve Act on February 2, 2016.


Galena Land Transfer:

  • This language directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey approximately 1,290 acres of public land, the former home of the Campion Air Force Radar Station, to the town of Galena, Alaska for the purposes of ensuring the safety of the town in future Yukon River flood events. This land would be crucial to the future wellbeing of Galena’s residents, as it would allow them to continue to rebuild from the 2013 flooding of the Yukon River without future threats.
  • Congressman Young secured this language as an amendment to the FY 2016 NDAA. This language, along with other land transfer provisions, was dropped during negotiations with the Senate.  


HAARP Transfer to University of Alaska and AHTNA, Inc

  • This language directs the Secretary of the Air Force to convey the High Frequency, Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility to the University of Alaska, and its surrounding areas the AHTNA, Inc.
  • Following a 2014 decision by the Air Force to discontinue use of the HAARP facility, the University of Alaska worked to continue its use. Although the University has secured an operational agreement, legislation is necessary to provide for a full transfer of the facility.
  • Congressman Young’s request fulfills the Air Force’s desire to relinquish ownership of the HAARP facility and its surrounding areas by authorizing the Air Force to transfer the facility and underlying land to the University of Alaska, and the surrounding areas to AHTNA, Inc.


168th Air National Guard Refueling Wing

  • Congressman Young secured an amendment to the FY15 NDAA requiring the Air Force to complete a business case analysis for converting the 168th Air Refueling Wing to an Active Associate Wing.
  • Given that this analysis has yet to be completed, Congressman Young secured language to the FY17 NDAA that requires the Secretary of the Air Force to take into account the basing of two F-35 squadrons at Eielson Air Force base when conducting its business case analysis for converting the 168th Air Refueling Wing at JBER to an Active- Guard unit.


Native American/Hawaiian SBA Section 811 Fix

  • Congressman Young successfully included language to repeal Section 811 of the 2010 NDAA, which has had chilling affects on Native owned contractors, and replace it with a commonly used and understood procurement practice for other contracts.
  • Young’s language, which was approved in the House passed FY16 NDAA but fell off during negotiations with the Senate, eliminates the confusing and foreign Section 811 five step Justification and Approval (J&A) process for Small Business Administration 8(a) program contracts and replaces it with the a J&A process from the Competition in Contracting Act.


Arctic Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUS-V):

  • In order to secure the next generation of Arctic support vehicles, Congressman Young secured report language requiring the Army to present a plan to Congress for replacing the Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUS-V).
  • The Army’s SUS-V fleet is used to train and operate in extreme cold weather conditions, providing units with unique arctic capabilities. According to the Army, these vehicles are far beyond their normal service life and have become extremely difficult to maintain.


Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska:

  • Congressman Young secured report language requiring a review of state-owned spaceports and the role they play in Department of Defense space launch operations, including the role of the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska.
  • State-owned spaceports, like Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, have played a large role in supporting national security and missile defense launch activities. This language notes the value of these spaceports, and requires the Secretary of Defense to detail opportunities to enhance the capability of these state-owned spaceports to support national security.

Provisions included in the 2017 NDAA of Alaska interest:

F-35 Procurement:  

  • Authorizes full funding for the procurement of F-35A Fighters. This funding continues progress on stationing two squadrons of F-35’s at Eielson Air Force Base, and is critical to ensuring the on-time delivery of these aircraft to Interior Alaska.  

Preserving Army Force Structure, Protecting JBER’s 4-25:

  • Language authorizing Army Active-Duty end strength at 480,000 soldiers. This end strength level would stop the Army’s drawdown to 450,000 troops and eliminate reductions facing JBER’s 4-25. This language is in line with the POSTURE Act, legislation cosponsored by Congressman Young.


Space-A Travel:

  • Report language developed by Rep. Bridenstine (R-OK) and Congressman Young to require a study on the Department of Defense’s Space-A Travel program, which allows military personnel to use excess seating aboard military aircraft.
  • Many military flights originating in Alaska are vastly underused; this language requires a study on the effects of adding the inclusion of reserve component personnel and their dependents. 

 

 

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House Bill Protects 4th Amendment Rights, Updates Email Privacy Laws

2016/04/27

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young shared the following statement after House passage of H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act:

“The last time our email privacy laws were updated the world was a very different place. Google wouldn’t be created for another 13 years, most Americans wouldn’t use text messaging for another 15, and Facebook wouldn’t exist for another 20. The date was October 21, 1985.

“While I’m the first to admit that I prefer more tradition forms of communication, I understand the need to bring our email privacy laws into the 21st century – not only to keep pace with changing technologies but to ensure our laws protect the constitutional rights of Americans. Because these laws were written long before the regular use of the internet or email, they currently contain glaring holes – giving the government the ability to access emails and other digital communication 180 days old or older without a warrant.

“Today, the House took an important step in fixing this violation of privacy by passing legislation I cosponsored, the Email Privacy Act. This bill ensures our electronic communication laws contain important 4th Amendment protections and our law enforcement agencies follow uniform warrant standards when conduction criminal investigations.”

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House Moves to Update Laws Governing Oil Spill Response, Protection and Liability

2016/04/26

Washington, D.C. – In an effort to update the laws governing oil spill response, liability and protection, today the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 1684, the Foreign Spill Protection Act of 2015, which modernizes the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) as it relates to foreign sourced oil spills. Alaska Congressman Don Young, an original sponsor of OPA 90 and H.R. 1684, has worked for years to ensure the safe transport of oil and other tanker cargo through U.S. waters. Following the passage of H.R. 1684, Congressman Young shared the following statement:

“The laws governing oil spill response and protection in the United States, including damage payments and liability, were developed in response to the devastating Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," said Congressman Young. "This tragic event, which ultimately led to the passage of OPA 90, revealed major shortcomings in the way we responded to oil spills. As an original sponsor of that Act and longtime advocate of transportation safety, I am committed to reforming our laws to ensure all responsible parties – both foreign and domestic – are liable for actions in our waters.

“With maritime activity increasing in the Arctic, particularly as Russia expands its off-shore operations, it’s increasingly important to ensure American interests and waters are protected," Congressman Young said. "If a vessel transporting oil within Russian waters were to ever suffer an oil spill, ocean currents may very well bring that oil into Alaskan waters. H.R. 1684 would force the responsible party to cover all costs associated with cleanup within U.S. waters and upon nearby shores.”

H.R. 1684, the Foreign Spill Protection Act of 2015, would ensure that the responsible party, regardless of origin, pays for ALL American cleanup costs associated with an oil spill.  Under current law, spills occurring in U.S. waters must be paid for in full by the responsible party. However, foreign oil spills reaching U.S. waters are paid for through the Oil Liability Trust Fund, which covers $150 million for clean up and up to $850 million for claims.

Under this bill, foreign entities responsible for a spill reaching U.S. waters would pay for all costs associated with cleanup. Those refusing, or denying guilt, would face significant civil penalties imposed by the U.S. Attorney General in the appropriate district court.

Prevention measures within OPA 90 included double hull requirements for oil tankers, the use of towing vessels, vessel communication systems, as well as liners for onshore facilities. Response measures within the Act included contingency planning, national response units, Coast Guard district response groups, and tank vessel and facility response plans.  Congressman Young worked to further bolster these efforts by requiring dual tug escorts for the double hulled oil tankers in Prince William Sound.  


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House Passes Bipartisan Bills Aimed at Thwarting ISIS Recruitment, Assessing Foreign Security Threats, Limiting Profits from ISIS Destruction

2016/04/26

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young and the House of Representatives today passed a series of bipartisan bills aimed at combating terrorist recruitment, assessing potential security threats at foreign points of entry, and restricting the importation of cultural artifacts stolen from Syria – a multi-million dollar industry for terrorist organizations like ISIS.

“ISIS continues to radicalize and recruit individuals across the globe through the use of social media and other online propaganda,” said Congressman Don Young. “H.R. 4820 is a concerted effort by the United States to diminish recruitment efforts by using the voices and testimony of defectors to silence this violent extremism.”

H.R. 4820, the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act of 2016, requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to utilize testimonials from former extremists and defectors to counter-message the Hollywood-style propaganda and recruitment efforts of terrorist groups like ISIS.

“In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the United States must be ever vigilant in our efforts to ensure the safety and security of all Americans,” Congressman Young said. “This must include common sense improvements to screening, security, and risk assessments; not only at home but abroad. H.R. 4698 is only one effort we’re taking in the House to enhance collaboration and coordination with our foreign partners to ensure we eliminate risks to our national security.”

H.R. 4698, the Securing Aviation from Foreign Entry Points and Guarding Airports Through Enhanced Security Act of 2016, works to enhance aviation security by requiring the Transportation Security Administration to assess security risks and coordinate enhancement plans at all foreign airports offering direct flights into the United States.

“In Nazi-like form, ISIS is spreading its hatred and destruction across massive regions of Syria and Iraq – destroying ancient cities in its path, looting culturally significant artifacts, and organizing operations to smuggle antiquities,” said Congressman Don Young. “In an effort to cut off a cash stream that has netted ISIS tens of millions of dollars and discourage further looting, H.R. 1493 temporarily prevents these artifacts from being sold or imported into the United States unless it is done for temporary safekeeping.”

HR 1493, the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act, sets import restrictions on artifacts removed from Syria in order to protect and preserve international cultural property at risk due to political instability and armed conflict.

 

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Alaska Delegation Praises Missile Defense Agency Announcement for Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska

2016/04/22

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Alaska Congressional Delegation welcomed the announcement by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) that it is examining the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak as a potential site for missile defense flight testing for regional missile defense systems, such as the Theatre High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system. MDA today released a Notice of Intent for a Sole Source Contract for the Alaska Aerospace Corporation in Federal Business Opportunities, the federal government’s online acquisition information system, to help test components of the nation’s ballistic missile defense systems. The announcement follows Navy Vice Admiral James Syring’s inspection visit to the Pacific Spaceport Complex in February.

“As an early supporter of our nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System, including efforts in the late 90’s to pass the ‘All-American Resolution’ to ensure equal protection for Alaska and Hawaii from ballistic missile threats, I’m extremely pleased with today’s announcement,” said Congressman Young.  “With growing threats from North Korea, combined with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it’s vital that the United States remain vigilant in our efforts to defend against rogue nations set on acquiring and using long-range missile technology. The Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC), a critical piece of our nation’s space-launch infrastructure, and the MDA continue to serve an invaluable role in protecting our nation. Today’s announcement demonstrates our nation’s commitment to providing robust missile defense, ensures our systems are properly tested and evaluated, and reaffirms the immense value of the Pacific Spaceport-Alaska and AAC to the Department of Defense. I remain committed to building on previous year’s efforts – including key provisions supporting the expansion of Ground-based Missile interceptors and the development of the Long Range Discrimination Radar at Fort Greely, Alaska – to ensure the safety and security of our nation.”

"Today’s announcement is great news for Kodiak and for Alaska. The Missile Defense Agency continues to recognize Alaska's geographic advantage in the execution of its mission. Testing regional missile defense systems in Kodiak is the latest chapter in a longstanding relationship between the Missile Defense Agency and our state,” Senator Murkowski said. “Along with the Air Force’s plans to base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Eielson, this is yet another tangible demonstration of the military’s growing interest in Alaska and will further solidify our state’s long-term status as a strategic asset to the nation’s defense.”

“Today’s announcement by MDA reaffirms the fact that Alaska is the cornerstone of our nation’s missile defense,” said Senator Sullivan. “The potential opportunity for regional missile defense flight testing on Kodiak for systems that could include THAAD would help revitalize a longstanding partnership between MDA and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation.  Having just visited Kodiak, and spoken with members of the community, I am hopeful this news will breathe new life into a world-class launch complex on the island.  From my position on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I have had several discussions with MDA Director Vice Admiral Syring about Kodiak’s potential for missile testing and I fought to secure a provision in last year’s NDAA highlighting the importance of the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska in helping the Department of Defense meet its national security requirements.  I will continue to promote this critical launch complex as a site for future MDA missions and testing because of its unique advantages and important location.”

The announcement continues a year of positive developments for the military’s future in Alaska. MDA has separately announced plans to construct a $300 million Long Range Discrimination Radar at Clear Air Force Station near Anderson, and the Air Force has announced that it will base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Eielson Air Force Base.

 

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Young and Murkowski Host Panel on Potential Dangers of GE Salmon

2016/04/21

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) hosted a genetically engineered salmon briefing to discuss the potential risks of the world’s first FDA-approved genetically engineered animal for human consumption. This effort took steps to educate and build awareness about the inappropriate approval process taken by the FDA, the potential ecological impacts, health risks, and the dangers of not properly labeling genetically engineered (GE) salmon. The briefing also was aimed at garnering support for legislation addressing the issue.

The briefing brought together a group of panelists which included representatives from Food and Water Watch, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Alaska Trollers Association, Consumers Union, and the Center for Food Safety.

“I have long opposed the marketplace approval of GE Salmon, not only because of the flawed process in which it was approved but for the serious impacts it could have on wild salmon species, ocean ecosystems and the U.S. fishing economy,” said Congressman Don Young. “Today’s briefing was an important step in raising awareness for the FDA’s misguided decision, while also building a broad coalition of support for efforts taken in Alaska and elsewhere to institute mandatory labeling requirements for GE fish and seafood. I’ve always said that if this science project were ever approved, at the very least the American consumer should be given clear and transparent information about what they are eating.”

“It’s incredibly important that we gain a greater fact-based understanding of what we are dealing with when it comes to genetically engineered salmon. To me, this is inconceivable to make something as biologically perfect as wild Alaskan salmon and conduct a science experiment—creating a new species that can endanger our healthy fish stocks,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “I am certainly not going to serve it to my family when you can’t guarantee it’s going to be safe. I don’t think we should experiment with food safety and food security.”

“The inappropriate process that was used is really the root of all of these problems. There is a better way to evaluate this type of product—a new process specifically for these issues should be developed, we should not be relying on an old process,” said Dr. Jillian Fry, Project Director, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. “The ecological concerns were not properly taken into account when the FDA did their assessment. The way that they considered environmental impacts was very limited. The inappropriate approval process is related to the inadequate data that this was based on, and the lack of labeling will make it very difficult to evaluate safety. And it’s not just the lack of labeling, but if the labeling is not clear and does not properly communicate the information to consumers, that’s concerning.”

“Anything that can compromise human health and fisheries affects me and my family, fishing communities and our state. It’s extremely important to fishermen that consumers have the opportunity to know precisely what they are buying for their dinner table,” said Dale Kelley, Executive Director of the Alaska Trollers Association. “Trollers are used to transparency. The only secrets we have are what fishing lure we’re using and maybe if we’re lucky, today’s hot spot. We catch fish and deliver them to the processer where each one is counted, weighed, and identified by species. What you see is what you get. A king salmon is a king salmon through and through, but GE salmon have a surprise inside.”

Background: Senator Murkowski and Congressman Young have both introduced legislation to mandate labeling of genetically engineered salmon.

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Congressman Young Welcomes Alaska’s 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess to Washington, D.C.

2016/04/14

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young welcomed Nicole Eldred – Alaska’s 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess – to Washington, D.C. this week as she participates in an annual celebration honoring the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. Nicole, who was nominated to represent Alaska this year by Congressman Young, is participating in a week long cultural festival alongside representatives from all 50 states and five U.S. territories. The annual Cherry Blossom festival is ongoing, taking place from March 20 – April 17, 2016.

Congressman Young served as Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess Nicole Eldred’s escort during the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Princess Reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

“It’s been an honor to nominate Nicole as our 2016 Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess and join her throughout this annual celebration honoring our nation’s close relationship with the Japanese people,” said Congressman Young. “Nicole, an accomplished young woman in her own right, joins the ranks of so many others, including Senator Murkowski, who have so honorably represented our state in this celebration of nations. As a valued member of my staff last summer, Nicole proved to be a remarkable ambassador for Alaska – something she has continued throughout this year’s festival and will do long into the future.”

Nicole Eldred sharing her experience as Alaska’s 2016 princess at the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Princess Reception.

Nicole, daughter of Fran and John Eldred, is a 2014 graduate of South Anchorage High School. She currently attends Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA where she studies philosophy. Nicole is actively engaged in community service and civic activities, having worked as an adaptive ski instructor for Challenge Alaska and served as a Congressional intern during the two previous summers.

Each year, the Alaska delegation rotates nominating and hosting a young woman from Alaska to represent the State during the Cherry Blossom Festival.  The Cherry Blossom Festival is a benefit sponsored by the National Conference of State Societies that was set up by Congress on April 3, 1952 to celebrate a new era of peaceful relations between Japan and the United States. Tomorrow, a young woman from the United States will be selected as Queen – by the spin of a wheel – to join with a young woman from Japan to celebrate ongoing American-Japanese diplomacy for the coming year.

Congressman Young sharing a video message with 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess Nicole Eldred of Anchorage (click here to watch).

 

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Young Commemorates 40th Anniversary of Magnuson-Stevens Act

2016/04/13

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act:

Congressman Don Young, Senator Ted Stevens, and Governor Jay Hammond discussing the 200-mile U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in October of 1975.

“Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, an act that “Americanized” our fisheries and created wealth and certainty for our coastal communities and state. As many may know, it was our Alaskan fishermen that spearheaded these efforts – calling upon Congress to develop reforms that protected Alaska’s fisheries resources and pushed foreign fleets off our shores – a fight Senator Stevens and I gladly took on.”

“As one of the original authors of the Act, alongside Senator Stevens and a bipartisan partnership in the House and Senate, I’m proud to see the many successes under this law – which has allowed our fisheries to flourish, our coastal communities to succeed, and our state to build the strongest and most sustainable fisheries in the world. Because of the tremendous strides made in the MSA, Alaska is considered the gold standard of fisheries management – home to 11 of the nation’s top 20 most value fishing ports; accounting for more than 60 percent of the nation’s seafood.

“As a tireless advocate of our fisheries, I am honored to continue the fight of Senator Stevens and countless others as we work to reauthorize the MSA in Congress. I remain committed to ensuring our fisheries and the people that support it are best protected by balancing the biological needs of our fish stocks and the economic needs of our fishermen and coastal communities.”

As a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee and original coauthor of the 1976 MSA, Congressman Young was chosen by Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) in the 114th Congress to lead efforts to reauthorize the MSA.

On June 1, 2015, the House passed H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act (introduced by Congressman Young),  which represents more than four years of work by Young and the House Natural Resources Committee to update the premier law government commercial and recreation fishing in U.S. federal waters.

 

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Rep. Young Works to Protect Nation’s Veterans from Fraudulent Services and Financial Scams

2016/04/12

Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young shared the following statement after House passage of H.R. 4676, the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act, which works to protect our nations’ veterans – often seniors and their families – from being victimized by individuals and companies operation financial scams and fraudulent services:

“Alaska is home to more than 77,000 veterans – the highest ratio of veterans per capita in the country – and I’m honored to represent each and every one of these remarkable men and women in Congress,” said Congressman Don Young. “My office takes the work we do on behalf of our nation’s veterans very seriously, whether it’s resolving problems with the VA, assisting with individual benefit claims, or eliminating red tape in the federal government. While we’ve taken many successful steps to protect and serve our nation’s veterans, there is always more work to be done.

“Yesterday, the House passed bipartisan legislation – H.R. 4676, the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act – to hold people and companies that prey upon our nation’s veterans responsible for their crimes; often a series of financial scams and fraudulent services that target senior veterans and their families,” Young stated. “While already illegal to engage in such activity, these crimes are free of criminal or financial penalty. H.R. 4676 changes that by properly penalizing those who knowingly engage in these deplorable actions.”

H.R. 4676 amends the federal criminal code to declare that any person who knowingly engages in any scheme or artifice to defraud a veteran of veterans' benefits, or in connection with obtaining veteran's benefits for that veteran, shall be fined, imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

 

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AK Delegation: Military Boost Coming to Alaska, F-35 Squadrons Officially to be Based at Eielson AFB

2016/04/04

WASHINGTON, DC—Today the Alaska Congressional Delegation praised the news that Eielson Air Force Base was selected as the new home for the U.S. Air Force’s first F-35As in the Pacific Theatre. Construction is scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2017, with the arrival of the F-35s expected in 2020. The Record of Decision was signed this morning by the Air Force, finalizing plans to base the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter at Eielson, bringing 54 new aircraft and 2,765 additional residents to Interior Alaska. The two squadrons of F-35s will join the F-16 Aggressor squadron and the 168th Air Refueling Wing currently assigned to Eielson.

The U.S. Air Force released its final Environmental Impact Study on February 26th regarding the beddown of the F-35s at Eielson. Construction activity associated with the siting of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is expected to create a total of 2,339 new construction jobs and generate $453.4 million in economic output over the next four years.

“Today’s Record of Decision is great news, reinforcing Alaska’s strategic military location and proving how crucial Eielson is to our national security. This is also good for the airmen who will now have the opportunity to work and train in the best military community in the nation,” said Senator Murkowski. “Today signals a remarkable reversal of fortune for Eielson Air Force Base, because it was not too long ago that we were told that capabilities at Eielson would be significantly downsized. As a member of both the Defense Appropriations and Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittees, I will now work to fund the planes, the people, and the military construction to make this a reality. It has now been made abundantly clear that America truly needs Eielson Air Force Base.”

“This announcement today is win-win-win for Alaska, the Air Force, and our nation,” said Senator Sullivan.  “I couldn’t be happier for Fairbanks, North Pole, the Interior, and the rest of Alaska whose patriotic warmth and dedication towards our military and their families clearly made this an easy decision for the Air Force. I also appreciate that the Air Force was responsive to the language that the Alaska Congressional Delegation included in last year’s defense authorization to fully weigh Alaska's strategic location and our world-class training opportunities in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. When Eielson’s F-35As are combined with the Air Force’s existing F-22s, C-17s, F-16s, E-3s, and the Alaska Air Guard’s C-130s, KC-135s and combat rescue squadrons, Alaska has clearly become a critical hub of combat air power for our nation. And with rising threats in the Arctic, on the Korea Peninsula, and in the South China Sea, I think Alaskans will agree, these elite aircraft cannot arrive soon enough."

“Today’s Record of Decision confirms a longstanding belief that Alaska’s strategic location and unique military value are far too important to be overlooked. This decision, the latest in a series of events, demonstrates that the Department of Defense has truly recognized Alaska for the vital role we play in supporting the military’s mission,” said Congressman Young. “From the announcement to delay cuts to JBER’s 4-25, basing the Gray Eagle UAV’s and Apache Helicopters at Fort Wainwright, keeping the F-16s at Eielson and now today’s announcement, it's clear DOD understands that Alaska’s strategic value – its vast training areas, proximity to the Asia-Pacific, and our commitment to serving our military – is unmatched anywhere else in the world. From the beginning, my case for bringing the F-35 to Alaska has focused on fulfilling the mission. While I’m proud to have played a role in this process, having secured language in each of the last two National Defense Authorization Acts that emphasized Alaska’s immense military value and the benefits Eielson offers the Air Force, I’ve always said that Alaska’s contributions to our military sell themselves.”

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2011/04/14

Meeting with Sebastian Donoso, Special Advisor on Indigenous Affairs within the Government of Chile Read More

2011/04/14

Meeting with Benjamin Tucker of the Yakima Nation Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with 33 Close-Up students from Chugiak High School, East High School, Stellar High School, South Anchorage High School and Yukon Koyukuk Scools Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with Jackie Johnson, Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with John Katz of the Alaska Governor's Office Read More

2011/04/13

House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on "American Energy Initiative" with both Senators testifying Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Haines Borough Mayor Jan Hill Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Dalton Riser, Student Wasilla Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Mallory Givens, UAA Student Read More

2011/04/06

Meeting with Sheri Buretta, Ed Herndon and Trudi Komakhuk Read More

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AK Delegation Meeting with Alaska Close Up Students

2016-04-20 23:18:44


Congressman Young Welcomes Alaska's 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess Nicole Eldred

2016-04-14 22:17:55


Congressman Don Young Reflects on His 43 Years of Service in the U.S. House of Representatives

2016-03-14 23:51:07


Rep. Young Discussing Dog Mushing and the Iditarod

2016-03-03 19:31:44


Media Report: Young Defends ANWR on House Floor

2016-03-03 16:54:15


Don Young Questioning Secretary Sally Jewell Before the House Natural Resources Committee

2016-03-02 23:37:04


H.R. 2406, the SHARE Act: Young Defends Polar Bear Provision

2016-02-26 21:55:27


H.R. 2406, SHARE Act - Amendment to Designate 10-02 Area of ANWR as Wilderness

2016-02-26 19:50:44


H.R. 2406, SHARE Act - Young Amendment to Reverse FWS & NPS Rulemaking

2016-02-26 19:40:10


Congressman Young Discussing H.R. 3650, the State National Forest Management Act

2016-02-25 21:17:48


Congressman Young Discussing Alaska Changes to H.R. 4441, the AIRR Act.

2016-02-12 02:37:44


Congressman Don Young: February E-Newsletter

2016-02-05 23:17:05


Congressman Young on the Passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015

2016-02-02 01:30:04


ICYMI: Office Space Don Young's Alaska Tundra (Roll Call)

2016-01-29 23:17:56


Congressman Young Shares Thoughts Following 2016 State of the Union

2016-01-13 04:20:12


Congress Approves Legislation to Dismantle Provisions at Heart of Obamacare

2016-01-06 23:56:20


Rep. Young Shares Thoughts on Executive Order to Further Restrict Second Amendment Rights

2016-01-05 23:41:21


Merry Christmas from Congressman Don Young

2015-12-22 21:38:02


Congressman Young Shares Thoughts on House Passage of Coast Guard Reauthorization

2015-12-10 23:02:47


Young Defends 2nd Amendment on House Floor

2015-12-10 22:10:42


Contact Information

2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5765
Fax 202-225-0425
donyoung.house.gov

Congressman Don Young was re-elected to the 113th Congress in 2012 to serve his 21st term as Alaska’s only Representative to the United States House of Representatives. First sworn in as a freshman to the 93rd Congress after winning a special election on March 6, 1973, Congressman Young is today the 1st ranking Republican member and the the 4th ranking overall member of the House of Representatives.

Congressman Young served as Chairman of the House Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. In the 110th Congress, Representative Young returned to the helm of the Resources Committee to lead his fellow Republicans as the Ranking Member. In the 112th Congress, he was chosen to serve as the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Alaska Native and Indian Affairs.  Rep. Young currently serves as a senior Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Young calls Fort Yukon, Alaska home; a remote village of approximately 700 people located 7 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s central interior region. Born on June 9, 1933 in Meridian, California, he earned his associate degree at Yuba Junior College in 1952, and his bachelor’s degree in teaching at Chico State College in 1958. Between earning these degrees, he served in the US Army’s 41st Tank Battalion from 1955 to 1957.

When he first moved to Alaska, Congressman Young made a living in construction and tried his hand at commercial fishing, trapping, and in the search for gold. In Fort Yukon he taught in a 25-student, 5th grade elementary class in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school. Constructed of logs, the school had a wood stove that kept his Alaska Native students warm in the sub-freezing, arctic winter. With the annual spring break-up of the river ice, he captained his own tug and barge operation to deliver products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. Even today, he remains the only licensed mariner in Congress.

It was in Fort Yukon that Rep. Young met and married a young bookkeeper named Lu. Lu was always at the Congressman’s side and supported him throughout his public service career. Lu and Don were married for 46 years, they were blessed with and raised two daughters, Joni and Dawn, and 14 grandchildren. Mrs. Young passed away on August 2, 2009.

Congressman Young first entered public service in 1964 when he was elected Mayor of Fort Yukon. Two years later, Alaskan voters elected him to the State Legislature in Juneau where he served in the State House from 1966 to 1970, and later in the State Senate from 1970 to 1973. Just hours after being sworn in to United States House of Representatives in 1973, he found himself leading the historic battle for approval of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. Often citing this as the single most important achievement in his career, Congressman Young stated, “Next to statehood itself, the most historical legislation passed that affected every Alaskan then, now, and in the future, was the passage of the pipeline legislation.”

That same year, his colleagues honored him as the “Freshman Congressman of the Year.” He went on to gain a key appointment on the then Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he pushed through the 200-mile fishing limit critical to Alaska’s fishing industry. He fought against federal control of lands and resources to which Alaskans are rightfully entitled – a battle he continues today with the same vigor. In 1997, he passed by a 419-1 vote, the National Wildlife Improvement Act, which sets guidelines for the nation’s 500-plus wildlife refuges.

Congressman Young proudly serves as the “Congressman for All Alaska” and loves his role as the only Alaskan Representative in Congress. Renewed by the challenges and goals of the 111th Congress and his committee positions, Congressman Young will continue to champion legislation and funding for programs benefiting Alaska and the nation. His vision remains the same – to provide citizens with the opportunity for a better life not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the future.


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