Inching Towards a Decision

The Air Force released the final environmental impact statement for the four proposed F-35A Pilot Training Center locations, opening a 30-day public review period, announced service officials. Luke AFB, Ariz., is the Air Force’s preferred basing alternative, though the service is considering basing F-35A training at “one or more existing Air Force or Air National Guard installations,” according to a June 11 release from the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, one of the other alternative locations. The other two are: Boise Air Terminal Airport AGS, Idaho, and Holloman AFB, N.M. The Air Force issued its draft EIS earlier this year and aims to make its definitive basing choice this summer, states the release. The training requirements include “existing training airspace and ranges, which permit flare countermeasures, supersonic flight, and the use of munitions,” states the release. USAF already operates the joint initial F-35 schoolhouse at Eglin, AFB, Fla. (Final EIS executive summary; caution, large-sized file.) (See also USAF’s webpage with links to the Final EIS documents.)