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AF to hold public hearings on draft EIS for proposed KC-46A 3rd Main Operating Base Beddown

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- The U.S. Air Force is scheduled to hold public hearings for comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the KC-46A Pegasus aircraft Third Main Operating Base Beddown. 

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has been identified as the Preferred Alternative for the KC-46A MOB 3 mission with Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana; Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma; and Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, considered as reasonable alternatives for the MOB 3 mission. 

Along with the No-Action Alternative, which would not beddown KC-46A aircraft at any base, these alternatives are fully evaluated in the Draft EIS, which is currently available for public review and comment at www.KC-46A-beddown.com through Jan. 2, 2017

The MOB 3 mission involves the basing of 12 KC-46A aircraft and one squadron. The squadron of KC-46A aircraft will require infrastructure, facilities, airfield operations, training activities, Airmen and airspace to support worldwide refueling, cargo and aeromedical evacuation missions. 

At Grissom ARB, Seymour Johnson AFB and Tinker AFB, the MOB 3 would be a replacement mission for the existing KC-135 Stratoanker aircraft mission. At Westover ARB, the KC-46A MOB 3 mission would be a new mission, in addition to the existing C-5 Galaxy aircraft mission that would remain unchanged. 

In addition, KC-46A aircrews from Seymour Johnson AFB would continue to use the Kinston Regional Jetport as an auxiliary airfield as is currently being used by KC-135 aircrews. The KC-46A aircraft will replace a portion of the aging tanker fleet. With more refueling capacity and enhanced capabilities, improved efficiency, and increased capabilities for cargo and aeromedical evacuation, the KC-46A will provide aerial refueling support to the USAF, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps, as well as allied-nation coalition force aircraft.

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, the Draft EIS analyzes the potential environmental consequences associated with basing the KC-46A at each MOB 3 alternative base. The No-Action alternative is also examined. 

Public hearings will be held at various locations throughout December and will open at 5 p.m., begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude at 8 p.m. 

Date Base Location
Dec. 6    Tinker AFB    Sheraton Midwest City Hotel and Reed Conference Center, 
5750 Will Rodgers Rd., Midwest City, OK 73110
Dec. 8 Grissom ARB    Milestone Event Center, 1458 North Liberator Rd., Peru, IN 46970
Dec. 13 Westover ARB  Westover Airport, 255 Padgette Street, Chicopee, MA 01020
Dec. 15 Seymour Johnson AFB Herman Park Center, 901 East Ash St., Goldsboro, NC 27530

The hearings will start with an Air Force presentation and an opportunity for public testimony before a hearing officer and a court reporter. Written comments will also be accepted. The USAF is soliciting comments on the Draft EIS from interested members of the public, as well as interested federal, state and local agencies. Public input is vital to the USAF in making informed decisions, and no action will be taken until after a Final EIS and Record of Decision are published. 

During the presentation, the Air Force will describe the proposed action and alternatives, the purpose and reasoning behind the proposed KC-46A MOB 3 beddown, and the NEPA process and will summarize the Draft Environmental Impact Statement findings. The public comment period will then begin, and the oral public comments will be transcribed by a court reporter. The Draft EIS is available for download from the following website: www.KC-46A-beddown.com and may be reviewed in hardcopy format at the following libraries:

GRISSOM ARB
• Peru Public Library, 102 East Main, Peru, IN 46970
• Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Main, 220 N. Union, Kokomo, IN 46901 

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB
• Wayne County Public Library, 1001 E Ash St., Goldsboro, NC 27530
• Seymour Johnson AFB Library, 1520 Goodson St., Bldg. 3660, NC 27531

TINKER AFB
• Midwest City Public Library, 8143 E. Reno Ave., Midwest City, OK 73110-7589
• Del City Library, 4509 SE. 15th St., Del City, OK 73115
• Tinker AFB Library, 6120 Arnold St., Bldg. 5702, Tinker AFB, OK 73145 

WESTOVER ARB
• Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St., Chicopee, MA 01013
• Ludlow Public Library, 24 Center St., Ludlow, MA 01056
• South Hadley Public Library, 2 Canal St., South Hadley, MA 01075 

Comments on the Draft EIS can be submitted electronically at www.KC-46A-beddown.com, orally or in writing at public hearings, or by providing written comments to the following person:

Mr. Hamid Kamalpour
United States Air Force, AFCEC/CZN
2261 Hughes Avenue, Suite 155, JBSA Lackland, TX 78236-9853

As a convenience to those sending comments by mail, a comment form is available on the website to help expedite your submission. Although comments will be accepted throughout the Draft EIS review period, to ensure consideration in the Final EIS, public input must be received by Jan. 2, 2017. People wishing to mail comments or obtain further information should send them to Mr. Kamalpour.