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Military Will Continue To Accept Scoping Comments From The Public Until Feb. 18 on The Environmental Impact Statement For Proposed Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex


JOINT BASE ELMENDORF - RICHARDSON, Alaska - The U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, on behalf of Alaskan Command (ALCOM), will continue to accept comments on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for an additional two weeks through Feb. 18, 2011. The scoping meetings were held to evaluate the potential environmental consequences associated with modernizing and enhancing current military ground and air training assets in Alaska public. Written comments received no later than Feb. 18, 2011, will be considered in the preparation of the draft EIS.

ALCOM, as the Department of Defense's regional joint headquarters in Alaska, has coordinated with the Services to develop a joint strategy to identify joint training opportunities in Alaska, maximize the use of training resources, and improve joint training.  The Environmental Impact Statement for the Modernization and Enhancement of Ranges, Airspace, and Training Areas in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex in Alaska (JPARC Modernization and Enhancement EIS) will evaluate the elements of this strategy which are reasonably foreseeable. 

At present the JPARC consists of all land, air, and sea training areas used by the Army, Navy, and Air Force in Alaska.  The military uses the JPARC to conduct testing, unit level training, and to support various joint exercises and mission rehearsals.  The JPARC was originally developed to support cold war weapons, tactics, and techniques.  Its current configuration cannot fully meet the training requirement for forces and exercises located in Alaska.  The proposed JPARC enhancements would enable realistic joint training and testing to support emerging technologies, respond to recent battlefield experiences, and train with tactics and new weapon systems to meet combat and national security needs.  JPARC enhancements would enable the Services to train realistically and jointly so military personnel could succeed in their mutually supportive combat roles when exposed to situations faced in actual combat. 

The proposal would modernize existing military training and testing capabilities located in the interior of Alaska through expanding and/or establishing new Military Operations Areas, Restricted Airspace, airspace corridors, ground maneuver training areas, and training complexes to provide adequate airspace and controlled-access land to test and train under realistic and varied conditions. 

The EIS will analyze the environmental effects of the proposed changes and their alternatives.  Projects currently proposed to be addressed in the JPARC Modernization and Enhancement EIS are in Attachment 1 and can be viewed online at www.jparceis.com.

The Army and Air Force hosted public scoping meetings at seven locations in an effort to obtain public input on the proposed action and alternatives, as well as to gain a better understanding of the potential issues and concerns related to this proposal. 

Federal, state, and local agencies, Alaska Native, and interested groups and persons are encouraged to provide comments on the proposed action by mail, phone, or fax at the address and numbers provided below.  More information can be found at the project website at www.jparceis.com. 

ALCOM Public Affairs

9480 Pease Avenue, Suite 120

JBER, AK 99506

Phone:  907-552-2341

Fax:  907-552-5411

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