MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
The 366th Fighter Wing is proposing to conduct an Environmental Assessment (EA) for nine urban centers near Mountain Home AFB to facilitate urban Close Air Support (CAS) proficiency training operations by F-15E Strike Eagle aircrews and ground support from Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC). Proposed urban areas include the Boise metropolitan area, Mountain Home, Burly, Twin Falls, Grandview, Glenns Ferry, Bruneau, Hammett and Mountain Home AFB.
Prior to initiating environmental analyses, a Description of the Proposed Action and Alternatives (DOPPA) must be developed. A DOPPA is “a plan that clarifies the purpose and need of a proposed action and provides reasonable alternatives to be analyzed in an environmental study such as an EA or an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement),” said Sheri Robertson, 366th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental chief.
“With this proposed action, the U.S. Air Force is seeking to establish air and ground training spaces in urban centers located close to the base that will adequately simulate the large, medium and small urban centers that military servicemen and women encounter downrange,” Robertson said.
The proposed training would distribute existing flight operations among MHAFB existing ranges and airspaces, and the air and ground spaces at the urban centers identified in the DOPPA and would not increase base flight operations.
“The proposed action includes six components: aircraft, personnel, airspace, ground operating areas, air and accompanying ground operations and computer software simulated munitions,” said Noelle Shaver, 366th Civil Engineer Squadron National Environmental Policy Act manager. “During urban CAS proficiency training exercises, munitions would not be installed in or on the aircraft. F-15 aircraft would fly above 10,000 feet above ground level.”
Additional alternate urban CAS training locations considered during the DOPPA development include: Nampa, Meridian, Caldwell, Eagle, Garden City, Kuna, Hot Springs, King Hill, Mayfield, Orchard, Oreana, and Prairie; however, these locations have the populations or vertical developments that meet the requirements of the proposed training.
The 366th Fighter Wing will be host several town meetings to obtain public input on the DOPPA.
“We highly encourage everyone to come out to the public scoping meetings and provide comments on the DOPPA,” Robertson said. “Comments will be addressed by the Air Force during the analysis stage of the environmental assessment process.”
For more information on dates and times for these meetings visit http://www.mountainhome.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1474971/mhafb-reschedules-scoping-meetings/