About

Background

In April 2006, the U.S. Air Force completed an Analysis of Alternatives to determine the most appropriate strategy to recapitalize portions of the existing tanker aircraft fleet. Based on this analysis, the U.S. Air Force concluded that tanker derived from a commercial aircraft would result in the best value. Therefore, the U.S. Air Force plans to recapitalize a portion of their existing fleet of tankers, the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender, with the KC-46A Pegasus (KC-46A), which will be the newest aerial refueling aircraft in the U.S Air Force fleet. Congressional authority the purchase of 179 KC-46A aircraft by 2028 to modernize the fleet, enhance operations, and increase mission effectiveness.


Proposed Action

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted to address concerns about federal actions and their effects on the environment. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is the most detailed analysis prescribed by regulations implementing NEPA. On December 22, 2016, the U.S. Air Force published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS, pursuant to NEPA, for the KC-46A Main Operating Base #4 (MOB 4) Beddown. On November 3, 2017, the U.S. Air Force published a Notice of Availability for the Draft EIS for public review. Separate EISs were previously completed for the MOB 1, MOB 2, and MOB 3 beddown actions.

The Proposed Action for the KC-46A MOB 4 Beddown is to base either 36 or 24 KC-46A tanker aircraft at one or more active duty installations within the continental United States. The basing action would require infrastructure, facilities, airfield operations, training activities, and personnel to support the KC-46A mission. All flight operations would take place within existing airspace and additions to or alterations of airspace are not proposed. Installation dependent, the Proposed Action would either add to or replace the current flying operations.

Implementation of the Proposed Action would occur in two stages: a beddown stage and an operational stage. The KC-46A MOB 4 Draft EIS addresses both stages. The beddown stage involves construction/retrofit of required facilities, infrastructure, and prepared surfaces, which includes renovation, alteration, and demolition. The beddown stage also includes preparing support facilities for new personnel and students to support the mission. The operational stage involves conducting day-to-day activities (operational missions, maintenance, etc.) of squadrons at the base, including base flight operations, training in the regional airspace, and use of auxiliary airfields.


Alternatives

The U.S. Air Force is considering four alternative installations for the KC-46A MOB 4 Beddown. These active duty locations include:

  • Travis Air Force Base, California
  • Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington
  • Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

FAQs

What is the KC-46A and why is it needed?

The KC-46A Pegasus (KC-46A) is the newest aerial refueling aircraft in the U.S. Air Force fleet. In April 2006, the U.S. Air Force completed an Analysis of Alternatives to determine the most appropriate strategy to recapitalize a portion of the existing tanker aircraft fleet. Based on this analysis, the U.S. Air Force concluded that a tanker derived from a commercial aircraft would result in the best value. Therefore, the U.S. Air Force plans to recapitalize a portion of the existing fleet of tankers, the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender, with the KC-46A. The KC-46A provides mission essential capabilities currently lacking in the existing tanker fleet, such as improved force protection and increased airlift capabilities. Congressional authority funded the total purchase of 179 KC-46A aircraft by 2028 to modernize the fleet, enhance operations, and increase mission effectiveness.


What is NEPA?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 was enacted to address concerns about environmental quality. NEPA's main objectives are as follows:

  • Ensure that federal agencies evaluate the potential environmental impacts of proposed programs, projects, and actions before decisions are made to implement them
  • Inform the public of proposed federal activities that have the potential to affect the human environment, including the natural and physical environments
  • Encourage and facilitate public involvement in the decision-making process

NEPA requires a federal agency to analyze impacts from a proposal and its alternatives, and provides the public with opportunities to participate in the process.

What is an EIS?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted to address concerns about federal actions and their effects on the environment. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is the most detailed analysis prescribed by regulations implementing NEPA. An EIS is a detailed public document describing a proposed action, all alternative actions that were considered, and the environmental impacts of implementing the proposed action and reasonable alternatives.

Regulations specify that an EIS be prepared when a federal agency proposes a major action with the potential to significantly affect the quality of the human environment. An EIS is required to “provide a basis of consideration and inform decisionmakers and the public of the reasonable alternatives.”

What locations are you considering for the MOB 4 Beddown?

The U.S. Air Force is considering four alternative installations for the KC-46A Main Operating Base #4 Beddown. These active duty locations include:

  • Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington
  • Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey
  • Travis Air Force Base, California

Where can I review a copy of the Draft EIS?

The Draft EIS is available on this website for download and review on the Documents page. The Draft EIS is also available at the following local libraries:

Fairchild Air Force Base (AFB) Area: Fairchild AFB Library, Spokane Public Library

Grand Forks AFB Area: Grand Forks AFB Library, Grand Forks Public Library

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Area: Burlington County Library, Pemberton Community Library, Ocean County Library- Manchester Branch

Travis AFB Area: Fairfield-Suisun Community Library, Suisun City Library, Mitchell Memorial Library, Vacaville Public Library

How can I make comments on the Draft EIS?

Comments on the Draft EIS can be submitted electronically on the Provide Comments page; verbally or in writing at the public hearings (see the Get Involved page for more info); or via postal mail at the address below. For further information, please contact:

Capt Matthew Smith, AFCEC/CZN
Attn: KC-46A MOB 4 EIS
2261 Hughes Ave, Suite 155; JBSA Lackland, TX 78236-9853

To ensure the Air Force has sufficient time to consider public input in preparation of the Final EIS, please submit comments by December 18, 2017

What is the KC-46A MOB 4 Beddown EIS schedule?

The U.S. Air Force published the Notice of Intent for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register on December 22, 2016 and the public scoping period ended on February 3, 2017. On November 3, 2017, the U.S. Air Force published the Notice of Availability for the Draft EIS and corresponding public review period. The public review period will end on December 18, 2017. The U.S. Air Force will incorporate input received on the Draft EIS into the Final EIS. A Record of Decision will be issued no sooner than 30 days after the Final EIS is released.


Steps in the EIS Process