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  • USAF Environmental Assessment says D-M training has insignificant impact

    Oct 13, 2014 | Read More News
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    Environmental Assessment says D-M training has insignificant impact
County concurs with USAF assessment of annual Total Force Training 
    operation snowbirdThe United States Air Force is in the middle of a 30-day comment period for a draft of its Total Force Training Environmental Assessment related to training operations at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base by multiple military agencies and potentially some of our foreign allies.

    Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry asked his staff to conduct a thorough and objective review of the assessment, and the county concurs with the Air Force that the Total Force Training Mission has no significant environmental impact to the region.

     The host of the training is the Arizona Air National Guard 162nd Fighter Wing with support by the USAF’s 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan. The Air Force has conducted the training at D-M since 1975 and considers the training operations critical to the nation’s defense readiness. The new draft is a revision of an environmental assessment first released in 2012.

     The USAF reviewed the effect of increasing the number of annual training sorties from 1,408, to 2,134 for U.S. forces only, or 2,326 including foreign allies. The USAF preference is 2,326. An increase to 2,326 sorties would increase the total number of annual sorties flown at D-M by only 5 percent.

    The assessment examined the training’s impact on noise, air quality, public safety, socioeconomics and cultural resources. It found no significant environmental impact to any of the categories for either increase in sorties.

     The county thoroughly examined the USAF findings in the assessment – which you can read here – and while there are impacts from the training, the county concurs with the Air Force’s findings of no significant impact. 

     The county has filed its findings with USAF as part of the official comment period. The comment period closes Oct. 23.

     Davis-Monthan and the Arizona Air National Guard are important components of the county’s economy and Pima County has long supported their missions. 

    Photo courtesy 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.
    Photo Information: F-16 Fighter Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard sit under sunshades while maintainers and pilots prepare for take-off at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base,  Jan. 23, 2013. Ten F-16s and 150 Guardsmen from Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S.D. arrived at D-M Jan. 11 for Operation Snowbird to conduct two weeks of mandatory training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)