Puzzling Communiqué About the Upcoming Operation Snowbird EA

(Recall that as much of the present aircraft brought in by the ANG Operation Snowbird program ages, they will be replaced by the F-35.)

TF Note: For those of you who are not members of the Military-Community Relations Committee (MCRC) we thought we would pass along an update about the Operation Snowbird (OSB) Environmental Assessment (EA) from Scott Hines of the D-M Community Liaison Office. It appears that they don’t plan to use the last EA of Operation Snowbird which was done in 1978 as the baseline for the current EA. Mr. Hines, who was not here at the time, claims that “all DM operations including all OSB” were included in the 2002 Search and Rescue (CSAR) EA. We find this puzzling. Is this Post-Hoc Rationalization?

In all 311 pages of the CSAR EA there is not one mention of Operation Snowbird. There is no mention of the noise levels or the safety records of the Harriers or the Tornados, two OSB aircraft that fly over densely-populated Tucson. The CSAR EA includes very little community input (one letter of support from George Kalil) and inadequate Environmental Justice data. There is no mention of the “racetrack” circling of the Julia Keen Neighborhood. There is mention of the Julia Keen School which was closed at the request of the D-M 50.

The link to the CSAR EA is below.

CSAR EA This is a long document, so be patient.

See the E-mail from the MCRC chair below.

From: M C R C
Date: May 2, 2011 9:00:01 PM MST
To: mcrc.tucson@gmail.com
Subject: OSB EA Information

Below is an update on the OSB EA provided by Scott Hines.

Alice Roe
MCRC Chair

MCRC Chair & Coordinating Committee,

To minimize any potential misinterpretation or general expectation of the pending OSB EA the Air Force provides this update and clarification.

The current status of the OSB Environmental Assessment (EA) is that the update to the Joint Training Plan (JTP) 60-1, which will
clarify OSB coordination and operations, has moved forward from ACC and is awaiting signature at Headquarters Air Force. After the JTP
60-1 is signed, HQ ACC and Gulf South Research Corporation (GSCR) will finalize the Description of Proposed Action and Alternatives
(DOPAA). Once approved, public scoping meetings will be planned. The public will receive a minimum of 15 days’ notice before the
first schedule public scoping meeting.

Regarding the baseline EA; while the initial EA specifically addressing OSB was completed in 1978, subsequent operational EA’s
have included all DM operations including all OSB. Therefore, DM’s current baseline operational EA is the Combat Search and Rescue EA that was completed in 2002. This CSAR EA will provide the basis for environmental comparison, analysis and assessment of the proposed action as outlined in the DOPAA.

VR, Scott
Scott Hines
355th Fighter Wing Community Liaison
520-228-5060, DSN 228
520-204-4849 (Cell)