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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Air Force to Release Draft EIS for F-35 Pilot Training Center

  • January 19, 2012
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The Air Force will release a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) Friday for the establishment of an F-35 Lightning II pilot training center.

Luke AFB, Ariz., is the service’s preferred alternative for the facility, but no final decisions about the training center’s location will be made until after the environmental impact analysis is complete, according to a written statement the Air Force issued Thursday. In addition to Luke, officials are considering Boise Air Terminal Airport Air Guard Station, Idaho; Holloman AFB, N.M.; and Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station, Ariz.

“For planning purposes, the Air Force is analyzing the impacts of basing increments of 24 aircraft, from 24 to 144, depending on capacity at the candidate installations,” said Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations.

The draft environmental impact statement for the F-35A pilot training center opens a 45-day public comment period ending March 14. The service will conduct 13 public hearings at locations surrounding potentially affected communities to receive comments on the draft EIS, Ferguson said.

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