No Significant Impact

So says the Air Force’s draft report of the environmental effect of operating a formal training unit for MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles at Holloman AFB, N.M. (Full document; caution, large file) “Implementation of the proposed beddown action at Holloman,” writes Air Combat Command in the newly released document, “would not result in significant impacts on the quality of the human or natural environment.” The Air Force wants to establish a second field training unit, FTU-2, at Holloman to churn out greater numbers of UAV operators. In addition to creating FTU-2, the report indicates that the Air Force wants eventually to consolidate all Predator and Reaper FTU operations at a single location—the one ultimately chosen for FTU-2—because the airspace utilized by Creech AFB, Nev., the site of the current FTU, is “at or near maximum capacity and would not be able to sustain” a second unit, according to ACC. Moving the current FTU from Creech “would make the operational mission footprint at Creech AFB more manageable for other CAP missions,” states the report.Edwards AFB, Calif., is also in the running as a potential site for FTU-2. ACC’s analysis similarly found that there would be no significant environmental impact of basing FTU-2 at Edwards. (Holloman release)