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Published on Jul 23, 2012
July 19, 2012 - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich again pressed top brass in the U.S. Air Force on the important role Alaska plays in the nation's defense, and received affirmative comments from the incoming Air Force Chief of Staff.
Begich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), took part in the nomination hearing at SASC of General. Mark Welsh to be Chief of Staff, and Lt. Gen. Frank Grass to be general and Chief, National Guard Bureau.
"Alaska is a very valuable platform for the U.S. Air Force," Gen. Welsh said at the hearing in response to questioning from Begich. "There's a reason we have our newest fighter based in Alaska. There's a reason we have a tanker airlift stationed in Alaska—a tremendous tanker unit by the way. There's a reason we have tactical airlift rescue forces, command and control aircraft, geography matters."