A Green Light for the Desert

Stationing F-35 stealth fighter aircraft at Nellis AFB, Nev., will not harm the surrounding area, the Air Force said in the newly issued environmental analysis of the plan. “The F-35 beddown will not adversely affect current airspace and aircraft operations, safety, recreation, socioeconomics, soils, water, biological resources nor cultural resources,” states the draft environmental impact statement, issued April.4. The Air Force intends to base 12 F-35s at Nellis for testing and an additional 24 there for weapon school training. The first aircraft would arrive in 2012 and the last in 2022, USAF said. Per law, the Air Force must conduct a thorough assessment of the environmental impact of basing any major weapon system at a new location. With the release of the EIS, thus starts a 45-day period of public hearings and comment to discuss the environmental findings. (Nellis report by SSgt. Travis Edwards)