f35The Navy has published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register concerning the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the west coast home basing of the F-35C aircraft. The Final EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of home basing F-35C squadrons at either, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Ca. or Naval Air Facility El Centro, Ca. Alternative 2 would entail placing seven Fleet Squadrons plus the Fleet Replacement Squadron at NAS Lemoore while maintaining training operations at NAF El Centro, alternative 2 has been identified in the Final EIS as the preferred alternative. This alternative best meets mission requirements; optimizes operational efficiencies related to personnel, training, and logistics support functions; maximizes the reuse of existing facilities and minimizes the need for new construction; and preserves NAF El Centro as a valuable training asset.
The Environmental Impact Study gives three different alternatives; the first alternative would to place the entire F35 squadron at the Naval Air Facility El Centro where all operations would be conducted, including maintaining the fleet and training. The second alternative would to home base the F35 squadron at Naval Air Station Lemoore, where the operations would be split with maintaining the fleet at Lemoore with some training and using NAF El Centro for a training facility.
The third option would to take no action, which would end up with no new Naval fleet operations on the west coast.
Officials from the Imperial County have been working vigorously trying to convince congress to Home Basing the F35 here at NAF EL Centro. A final decision is expected in the coming months.
To view the EIS visit: www.navyf35cwestcoasteis.com

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