Defense

June 30, 2014

Air Force selects No Action Alternative for F-35 basing at Eglin AFB

An F-35A Lightning II takes off from the Eglin Air Force Base runway after a hot pit refuel in October 2013. Airmen, Marines and sailors are refueling their F-35 variants for multiple sorties via 96th Test Wing fuel trucks.

The Air Force announced June 27 its decision for basing up to 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

After completing the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the F-35 Beddown at Eglin AFB, a Record of Decision was signed for F-35 training, selecting the No Action Alternative for basing the 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin AFB main base.

The Air Force will implement the No Action Alternative, which includes operational limitations imposed to reduce noise over the City of Valparaiso.

Runway 12/30 will remain the primary runway at Eglin Main Base for F-35 operations. Runway 01/19 will only be used for takeoffs to the south, landings to the north, or for operations necessary for emergencies, unplanned contingencies, and weather affecting aircraft performance limitations and requirements.

“The Air Force listened to the community’s concerns and worked hard to find a solution that meets mission requirements and also reduces noise impacts,” said Kathleen A. Ferguson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Installations, Environment, and Energy.

The No Action Alternative is the environmentally preferred alternative.

This decision reflects a spirit of cooperation and the Air Force’s desire to limit impacts on local communities around Eglin.

“By choosing the no action alternative instead of the preferred alternative (Alternative 1A), the Air Force demonstrating our commitment to being a good neighbor,” said Ferguson.

“We are making every attempt to mitigate noise through operational adjustments wherever feasible, not just now, but in future operations as well.”

The Air Force completed its Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement which analyzed eight action alternatives, including the No Action Alternative, for the basing of up to 59 F-35s at Eglin main base. The decision completes Air Force responsibilities for F-35 beddown in support for the Eglin Joint training site, while considering economic, environmental, and technical factors.

The F-35A is a 5th generation multi-role fighter with stealth, electronic warfare, and multi-spectral fused sensor capabilities, which will increase lethality and survivability in a contested environment.




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