FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Military officials say a squadron of F-16 fighter jets will remain at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Tuesday that Air Force Secretary Deborah James informed Gov. Bill Walker the base's strategic location was a deciding factor to keep the 354th Fighter Wing's F-16 Aggressor Squadron in place.
It's the second time the squadron was under threat. In 2013, the military backed off a plan to stage the jets from Anchorage instead.
The latest threat came as the Air Force looked at Eielson as the likely base for two Pacific theater squadrons of F-35s, the next generation of fighter jets. Eielson has been deemed the preferred choice for the two squadrons, which would bring 48 aircraft and about 2,000 additional personnel to Fairbanks