More Training Flights at Davis-Monthan

The Air Force announced it would proceed with plans to increase the number of training flights it allows each year for visiting aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. Under the changes, the new cap for these annual Total Force Training flights will stand at 2,326 sorties, up from the Fiscal 2009 ceiling of 1,408. Air Combat Command’s multiyear assessment of how this increase would affect the local environment found there’d be “no significant impact.” The command issued the assessment on May 15. It measured factors like noise levels, air quality, and public safety. Even at the new sortie ceiling, these training flights will represent less than 6 percent of the base’s total annual flights, states the assessment. Davis-Monthan frequently hosts fighters, helicopters, and transport airplanes from other Air Force wings as well as Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and foreign units for short training stints. For example, Air National Guard fighter units from the northern part of the United States train at the desert base during the winter months. (Environmental assessment; caution large-sized file.) (For more, read Arizona Daily Star report.)