- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An Arizona senator says the federal government is wasting money by awarding an $80 million contract for work at a missile launch facility on a southern Alaska island.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake put the Pacific Spaceport Complex project in first place on his annual hit list of wasteful federal projects, The Alaska Public Radio Network (https://bit.ly/2jp7dII) reported.

“After sitting unused for several years, the Pentagon is now sinking another $80 million into the spaceport,” Flake told fellow lawmakers Tuesday. “This is despite the fact that it’s not even equipped with the type of missiles that (the Department of Defense) plans to launch for the site.”

The Missile Defense Agency awarded the contract last year to Alaska Aerospace Corp. to test weapons for the U.S. Army. The contract, which would pay as much as $80 million over six years, covers an indefinite number of launches as well as range support services.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, an Alaska Republican, questioned Flake’s knowledge of U.S. missile defense.

“That’s what happens when senators who don’t know anything about missile defense take to the floor,” he said.

In legislation last year, Sullivan called Alaska “the cornerstone of missile defense.”

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Information from: KSKA-FM, https://www.kska.org

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