Alaska Range Up for Improvement

US Alaska Command released the draft environmental impact report on proposed upgrades to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex that adjoins Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. “JPARC requires a more contemporary and versatile design and improved infrastructure to meet the present and future needs of the military,” states an Alaska Command release. The command’s plan calls for expanding or adding several military operations areas, opening the complex to live air-to-air-missile shots, and enhancing access for remotely piloted aircraft. Proposed upgrades would “enable realistic joint training and testing to support emerging technologies, respond to recent battlefield experiences, and train with new weapons systems and tactics to meet combat and national security needs,” reads the release. DOD will conduct public hearings in communities near the complex in May to allow local citizens to weigh in. The final upgrade decision is expected in 2013. (See also JPARC website for updates and hyperlinks to draft EIS.)