Army Requests Input on Proposed Combat Aviation Brigade Stationing According to U.S. Army Environmental Command
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ — All interested members of the public, including native communities and federally recognized Native American Tribes, federal, state, and local agencies, are invited to submit written comments to identify environmental issues and concerns to be analyzed in the programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS). Written comments will be accepted until Oct. 10. Comments can be sent to Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Environmental Command, 5179 Hoadley Road, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010, e-mailed to APGR-USAECNEPA@conus.army.mil, or faxed to (410) 436-1693.
The Army needs to increase the availability of rotary wing assets to meet current and future national security requirements and intends to prepare a PEIS to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with the proposed growth, realignment, and stationing of new and existing Army aviation assets.
The proposed action includes the consolidation and reassignment of existing aviation units, and the establishment and stationing of one or more Combat Aviation Brigades (CAB). This will allow the Army to organize existing aviation assets to promote more effective training and force management.
The PEIS will include the construction and renovation of garrison facilities and additional training needed to support the establishment and realignment of aviation units.
The Army is considering the following alternatives in the PEIS:
(1) Realign and consolidate existing aviation elements of up to a full CAB at Fort Carson, Colo., or Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.;
(2) Implement those actions discussed in alternative 1; in addition, establish a new CAB and station it at Fort Carson or Joint Base Lewis-McChord; and
(3) No-Action Alternative, which would retain the Army aviation force structure at its current levels at their current locations in their current configuration.
No more than one additional CAB would be assigned to either of the stationing locations being considered. As part of alternatives 1 and 2, aviation units would conduct training on existing training land at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, Colo., or the Yakima Training Center, Wash., to maintain training proficiency and support integrated training with ground units. Land acquisition is not being considered as part of this action.
Fort Carson and Joint Base Lewis-McChord are the only stationing alternatives that meet all of the Army’s stationing requirements for new CAB stationing. These locations provide an existing runway and airfield, provide adequate maneuver and airspace for CAB operations, and are equipped with existing aviation training ranges.
Fort Carson and Joint Base Lewis-McChord are the only major installations that have three or more ground maneuver brigade combat teams, allowing the Army to maximize integrated air/ground training. Neither site has a CAB dedicated to provide aviation support for training.
The PEIS will assess, consider, and compare the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects from the stationing of up to one additional CAB at each installation. The primary environmental issues to be analyzed will include potential impacts to air quality, soils, airspace, cultural resources, natural resources, noise, and socioeconomics. In addition, the Army will consider those issues identified by the public and other organizations as the part of the scoping process.
Predicted environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the proposed action at Fort Carson and Joint Base Lewis-McChord include increases in aviation activity, potential for wildlife disturbance, as well as additional impacts to soils, biological resources, surface water, and vegetation will be analyzed. Additional vehicle traffic and growth in school population associated with an increase in Soldier populations will also be analyzed.
At the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, cumulative impacts to soils are predicted to be manageable with current dust control mitigation techniques. At the Yakima Training Center, a higher risk of wildfires is anticipated with potential for vegetation and habitat degradation.
For more information on the U.S. Army Environmental Command, visit http://aec.army.mil
SOURCE U.S. Army Environmental Command