Speak Out – Oppose F-16 Training Airspace over the Gila!

Submit your public comments by January 31, 2020 to Peaceful Gila Skies

Holloman Air Force Base (AFB) in Alamogordo wants to expand its F-16 pilot training airspace across southwestern New Mexico. Although the Air Force acknowledges that current airspace is adequate for F-16 combat training, it proposes an annual additional of 10,000 sorties, discharge of 15,000 flares and 15,000 bundles of chaff. The future of Holloman AFB is not at risk. We shouldn’t sacrifice the Gila, America’s first wilderness, and other special places in southwestern New Mexico. This region is critical to state and local tourism, retiree, and outdoor recreation economies.

Holloman’s Alternatives 2 and 3 would create a 7 million-acre Military Operations Area (MOA) over southwestern New Mexico including training flights for; low-level (500 feet Above Ground Level), high-level (above 13,500 Mean Sea Level or about 7500 AGL depending upon location), supersonic (above 30,00MSL) and nighttime training.

Population centers impacted include the Rio Grande Valley communities of Socorro, Truth or Consequences, and Las Cruces; Gila Gateway communities, including Silver City, Bayard, Santa Clara, Hillsboro, Kingston, Cliff, and Gila; and northern, including Datil and Magdalena.

Impacts include:

  • Extreme noise from training operations that will disturb the peace and quiet of rural communities and national forests and wilderness areas.
  • Dropping of flares poses a significantly increased level of wildfire risk to an area already vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire that doesn’t have many resources for firefighting.
  • Use of chaff pollutes our environment.
  • Military training over our area puts people at risk from military aircraft crashes, affects the thousands of veterans that have sought refuge in our communities to heal PTSD, and startles horses, livestock and wildlife affecting ranching, hunting, and backcountry recreation.
  • These impacts undermine the quality of life and the natural amenities that are the foundation for retiree, local tourism and outdoor recreation economies

The Air Force acknowledges that Alternative 1 – expansion and reconfiguration of Talon MOA, east of Alamogordo – meets its additional training needs with the fewest risks and impacts because it builds on existing airspace. We recognize the role of Holloman’s F-16 pilot training mission to national defense. Alternative 1 best meets those needs.

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Read more – Fact Sheet

Read more – Public Comment Information

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Speak Out – Oppose F-16 Training Airspace over the Gila!
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