About the Air National Guard
The Air National Guard's federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during combat and to provide assistance during national emergencies, such as natural disasters or civil disturbances. During peacetime, Air National Guard units carry out missions compatible with training, mobilization readiness, and humanitarian and contingency operations.
The purpose of the proposed action is to efficiently and effectively maintain Department of the Air Force combat capability, mission readiness and homeland defense. Beddown and operation of the F-15EX and F-35A at Air National Guard locations would represent a major step toward this goal.
The National Guard Bureau proposes to beddown one squadron of F-15EX aircraft at two of three alternative locations and one squadron of F-35A aircraft at one of four alternative locations. These beddowns would replace the F-15C/D aircraft at the alternative locations where they are currently based. Those existing aircraft would be retired from the inventory due to their age and resulting maintenance costs.
The proposed action also includes personnel needed to operate and maintain the F-15EX and F-35A, and construction of new and/or modification of existing facilities on the installations supporting the beddowns. Additional details are as follows.
- Approximately 100 additional personnel would be needed for the F-15EX beddown and approximately 80 personnel would be need for the F-35A beddown.
- Necessary construction projects would be implemented to successfully beddown the aircraft at the selected installations.
- There would be no changes required to the special use airspace used for training.
The alternative locations for the Air National Guard F-15EX and F-35A beddowns include:
- Barnes Air National Guard Base at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport, Westfield, Massachusetts
- Fresno Air National Guard Base at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Fresno, California
- Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Lemoore, California
- NAS Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Belle Chasse, Louisiana
Each of these locations is a candidate for either the F-15EX or the F-35A aircraft, with the exception of NAS Lemoore, which is a candidate for the F-35A aircraft only. Additionally, should the beddown of either of these aircraft at one or more of these locations not occur, it is feasible that any of these locations could continue operating with their existing legacy F-15C/D model aircraft for a limited time, in which case, construction associated with operating those legacy aircraft into the future is also being analyzed.
Per the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, the No Action alternative is also being analyzed. Under the No Action alternative, none of the alternative locations would receive the F-15EX or F-35A aircraft, and no construction associated with a continuing mission would occur.