• Nellis AFB to Add F-16 Squadron to Augment Close Air Support Training

    Nellis AFB to Add F-16 Squadron to Augment Close Air Support Training0

    Nellis Air Force Base would add a tactical air support squadron with up to 16 F-16s under an Air Force plan to enhance the 57th Operations Group’s ability to provide close air support (CAS) training, officials announced earlier this month. The tactical air support squadron would initially consist of eight permanent F-16 Fighting Falcons relocated from Hill AFB, Utah, with the potential to expand to a total of 16 aircraft at full operational capability. The service already has begun to evaluate the effect of basing the additional F-16s at Nellis, located in southern Nevada. Final decisions about the new squadron will be made after the environmental impact analysis process is completed …

  • Environmental Reviews to Consider Climate Change, under New Rules0

    Final guidelines released last week by the White House will require federal agencies, including the Defense Department, to assess the impacts of climate change as part of the environmental reviews already required for major federal actions under the National Environmental Policy Act. The new guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality requires agencies to quantify the climate impacts of their decisions for activities such as construction projects and other land use decisions, and also consider how to do things differently to help the nation better adapt to climate change, reported the Washington Post. “In many cases, federal actions have the potential to contribute to climate change by producing greenhouse gas emissions or alternatively, be affected by many of the impacts of a changing climate, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather, drought and wildfires …

  • Environmental Advocacy Group Sues to Block Marines Corps Realignment

    Environmental Advocacy Group Sues to Block Marines Corps Realignment0

    A federal lawsuit filed last week by environmental advocacy group Earthjustice seeks to stop the relocation of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, claiming the Navy’s record of decision for the move failed to consider the disruption to communities and the environmental destruction that would result from training the troops on the Northern Mariana Islands of Tinian and Pagan. “The Navy’s decision would have devastating consequences for the people of Tinian and Pagan,” Earthjustice attorney David Henkin said in a press release. Communities on Tinian would be subjected to high-decibel noise, as well as restricted access to traditional fishing grounds, cultural sites and beaches …

  • Judge Hears Lawsuit against Basing F-35s at Vermont Guard Base

    Judge Hears Lawsuit against Basing F-35s at Vermont Guard Base0

    A federal judge heard arguments last week in a lawsuit seeking to hamper the Air Force’s plan to base 18 F-35A fighter jets at Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt. The plaintiffs, six citizens and the city of Winooski, claim the federal government’s environmental impact statement (EIS) was flawed as it underestimated the level of noise caused by the fifth-generation aircraft as well as its impact on health and local property values. The suit seeks to force the Air Force to reopen the EIS, reported WPTZ. The F-35 is significantly louder than the F-16 it would replace, according to the EIS. The Air Force announced its selection of the Air Guard station at Burlington International Airport in South Burlington to host a squadron of F-35s in 2013. Officials have said they expect Vermont’s first F-35 will arrive at the Air National Guard base in 2019. Last month, the judge granted South Burlington’s request to support the lawsuit. Rather than joining the lawsuit as a plaintiff, though, the city submitted an amicus brief.

  • Neighbors Learn about Impact of Building Missile Defense Site at Ft. Drum

    Neighbors Learn about Impact of Building Missile Defense Site at Ft. Drum0

    At a public meeting last week in the village of Carthage, N.Y., residents learned about the impact establishing a possible East Coast missile defense site at Fort Drum would have on the region. The Missile Defense Agency has identified 100 acres on the southeastern corner of the post as one of three candidate locations to host ground-based interceptors designed to protect the United States from ballistic missile attacks. The other two sites are Camp Ravenna Joint Training Center, Ohio, and Fort Custer Training Center, Mich. The North Country would gain up to 600 construction jobs while the site is built over five years, and the region would gain more than 1,000 new jobs as a result …

  • Navy Considers Major Upgrades to Southern California Weapons Station

    Navy Considers Major Upgrades to Southern California Weapons Station0

    The Navy is contemplating major upgrades to the 5,200-acre Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach in a bid to accommodate more ships at the Orange County, Calif., installation as the military shifts its focus to the Asia-Pacific region. Possible improvements include construction of a new ammunition pier, reconfiguring and dredging Anaheim Bay to allow two ships to dock rather than one, and adding an access channel for boaters using Huntington Harbour. The existing pier can service only one medium-size ship at a time, can’t handle large vessels because its turning basin is too small and is not compliant with modern earthquake codes, reported the Huntington Beach Independent …