Altus Air Force Base hosted an Open House meeting at the Southwestern Oklahoma Technology Center on Tuesday to receive questions and comments from the public on the proposed KC-46A Tanker beddown.
The meeting was part of the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) being prepared by the U.S. Air Force to understand how a KC-46A FTU (Formal Training Unit) and MOB1 (First Main Operating Base) might affect natural and community environments in Altus. Comments from the public are crucial in understanding the full range of concerns to consider a possible site for the beddown.
“I’m hoping this moves along in a timely fashion and we see some new aircraft showing up over the next couple of years,” commented Jim Gover, Chairman of the Altus Chamber of Commerce.
There were several stations set up around the meeting room to provide facts and information relevant to the EIS process. Air Force experts stood at each station to explain various aspects of the KC-46A installation.
An explanation of the EIS time-line and projects a decision to be made in Spring 2014. The EIS will be drafted this summer, and will be made available for public review during 45 day comment period in October 2013. In winter 2013 the draft will be finalized and undergo a final public review in March 2014, before a decision is made. Another station explained the actions being taken to evaluate the effect that a FTU or MOB1 may have on the surrounding environment, and another provided specifications of AAFB and alternative locations under consideration. Pilots from AAFB spoke about the comparison between KC-135 Strato Tanker currently in use, and the new KC-46A that will replace the KC-135.
McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, and Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota are also candidates for the KC-46A missions and will also have the same scoping meeting to solicit comments and concerns from the public for a complete EIS.
For more information about the KC-46A beddown or to submit any comments, please visit www.KC-46A-beddown.com