House approves missile defense position

Posted: Monday, March 26, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- The state House approved a bill Monday that would let the state hire an assistant adjutant general for space and missile defense in the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Gov. Tony Knowles asked for the position, which he said would be federally funded. The National Guard officer appointed to the job would be the state's official military representative in matters related to deployment of a national missile defense program in Alaska.

''I think it sends a message to the federal level individuals that we are ready for this system to come to Alaska and we are ready to take on the responsibilities of it,'' said Rep. Pete Kott, R-Eagle River.

The job would be authorized for as long as the federal government is working on the missile defense program in Alaska and is paying for the position. That's expected to be at least three years.

Reps. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, and John Davies, D-Fairbanks, cast the only votes against the bill.

Kerttula said she couldn't support the bill because a national missile defense program would abrogate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

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