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.
The U.S. Air Force is considering four alternative installations for the KC-46A MOB 4 Beddown. These active duty locations include:
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.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 was enacted to address concerns about environmental quality. NEPA's main objectives are as follows:
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.
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.”
The U.S. Air Force is considering four alternative installations for the KC-46A Main Operating Base #4 Beddown. These active duty locations include:
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 comment period. The public comment period ended on December 18, 2017. The U.S. Air Force will review comments received on the Draft EIS and consider them in development of the Final EIS. A Record of Decision will be issued no sooner than 30 days after the Final EIS is released.