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OSB EA public scoping meetings scheduled

Posted 9/13/2011   Updated 9/28/2011 Email story   Print story


Release Number: 020911

9/13/2011 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- As part of the National Environmental Policy Act process, D-M officials will conduct public scoping meetings for Operation Snowbird Sept. 27 - 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The first meeting will be conducted at Sheraton Four Points, 1900 East Speedway, Tucson, Ariz.; and the second meeting will be held at Empire High School, 10701 East Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Tucson, Ariz.

The public will be informed on what to expect from the ongoing NEPA process and to gather public inputs to assist in properly defining the scope of the Environmental Assessment.

The goal of the EA is to identify and quantify impacts anticipated from the implementation of proposed alternatives and identify where mitigation measures can be implemented.

Representatives from the Air Force, Operation Snowbird, and Gulf South Research Corporation, as well as experts on NEPA, will be available to answer questions about the proposed action and alternatives currently planned for consideration in the environmental analysis.

Four alternatives currently planned for consideration will be presented.

The "No Action Alternative" provides for operations to continue at current sortie level with the same aircraft analyzed in the 2002 Combat Search and Rescue EA, which is the baseline assessment OSB currently operates under. The maximum sortie level is 2,129 with aircraft including F-16, F-15, FA-18, AV-8, KC-135, C-17, C-5, C-141, and various helicopters.

Alternative 1 would allow operations to continue at the "No Action Alternative" level with additional U.S. aircraft which have entered operations since 2002. These aircraft include F-18 E/F, F-22, MC-12, MV-22, and C-127.

Alternative 2 would allow operations to continue as "Alternative 1" with the further addition of foreign unit aircraft to include the Typhoon, Tornado, Mirage 2000, Rafale, Kfir, and EC-725 helicopter.

Alternative 3 provides for the implementation of the National Guard Bureau Training Plan 60-1 which defines the new maximum operational level as 1,920 training sorties, 240 arrival and departure sorties, and 96 annual cargo sorties. Total maximum sorties increase from 2,129 to 2,256. Aircraft would include all those described within the No Action, 1 and 2 alternatives to include the A-10C, HH-60G, GH-60, AH-1W, UH-1Y and others as needed.

The EA was initiated in response to the recently updated NGB TP 60-1, which now includes allied partners and sister services, clarifying the scope of OSB.

Information presented will be available after the scoping meetings at http://www.dm.af.mil/library/operationsnowbirdenvironmentalassessment.asp .

Comments about the scope of the analysis will be accepted in written form at the scoping meetings or emailed to 355WGPA@dm.af.mil with the subject header "OSB EA Comment Submission" by 28 Oct.

OSB, located at D-M, is a detachment of the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing. Its mission is to provide support for visiting flying units from U.S. military installations and allied partners with training in optimal weather conditions and access to Barry M. Goldwater Range complex to maintain unit combat readiness and prepare for future deployments.

For more information please visit www.dm.af.mil or call the 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office at (520) 228-3378.

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