Senate passes amendment to delay F-16s transfer

The U.S. Senate approved an amendment to the military budget that would delay an Air Force cost-cutting plan that includes a proposed transfer of F-16s from Eielson Air Force Base to Anchorage.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced the amendment that would delay the plan until mid-2014. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that Murkowski offered the amendment during an 18-minute speech on the Senate floor.

The Senate is expected to vote next week on the entire bill. If approved, Murkowki’s amendment would still have to survive a conference committee with the House version of the military budget.

A report released by the Air Force earlier this year estimates that more than $200 million in savings over five years by moving the 18th Aggressor Squadron to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.