The Reno/Tahoe IAP, Nevada Air National Guard, 152nd Airlift Wing is located at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RTIA) in Reno, Nevada. The base is located on the southwest side of RTIA on a 60 acre parcel. The base has 37 buildings; 13 administrative, 23 industrial, and 1 services, amounting to approximately 302,000 square feet.
Operations began here in the mid-1950s when they were moved from the airfield at Stead. The facility has served as the base for a NVANG fighter aircraft group and later a reconnaissance group. Presently the NVANG operates C-130 turboprop aircraft from the base fulfilling a reconnaissance role. Day-to-day activities are managed by a force of 250 full-time personnel. One weekend per month this population swells to more than 1100 members during military training assemblies. The base has no residential or transient housing facilities.
The RTIA is located four miles southeast of the Reno central business district. Reno has been the regional ANG center for northern Nevada for over one hundred years. On June 30, 1954 the Nevada ANG entered into a 100-year lease agreement with the City of Reno for use of land at the Reno Airport, today known as the Reno/Tahoe International Airport. The lease was later assumed by the Airport Authority of Washoe County. Over the years, the Nevada ANG has funded numerous airport improvements that have benefited the community and facilitated commercial airline expansion at the airport. Currently, more than $33 million per year goes into the local economy as a result of Nevada ANG salaries and local purchases. The history of Nevada ANG is one of growth, change, and vigilance. In early 1995, they began converting from the RF-4C fighter aircraft to the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. The mission of the 152nd Airlift Wing is to train, equip, and maintain units and individuals to meet worldwide requirements for federal day-to-day and mobilization missions and state emergencies.
Runway 16R/34L (Western parallel runway running North-South) is 11,000 feet long. Runway 16L/34R (Eastern parallel runway running North-South) is 9,000 feet long. Runway 7/25 (East-West) is 6,000 feet long.
In 1927 Charles Lindbergh landed at Blanchfield Airport (now the Washoe County Golf Course). Lindbergh observed that Reno's Blanchfield was too small to accommodate even it's 2 passenger Boeing Model 40a aircraft. In November, 1928 Boeing Air Transport christened the new landing site, "Hubbard Field" (now the Reno/Tahoe International Airport). As business improved, Boeing purchased more land and expanded the runways. After a series of purchases and mergers, United airlines emerged as the owner of Hubbard Field in 1937. United built a passenger terminal, remodeled the runways and added new border lights. As the Nevada State Journal reported, the airport was, "one of the most modern in the west." In 1953 the City of Reno leased Hubbard Field from United.
Construction of the present Reno/Tahoe International Airport started in 1956 including a terminal building in 1960, dedicated in time for the Squaw Valley Olympics. In 1977 the Airport Authority of Washoe County (AAWC) was created to own and operate both Reno/Tahoe International Airport and Reno Stead Airports.
Secretary of Defense Recommendation: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Reno-Tahoe IAP AGS, NV. It would distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 152d Airlift Wing (ANG) to the 189th Airlift Wing (ANG), Little Rock AFB, AR. The Wing's flying related Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) would moves to Channel Islands Air Guard Station, CA (aerial port), and Fresno Air Guard Station, CA (fire fighters). The remaining ECS elements and the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) remain in place. This recommendation would distribute C-130 force structure to a higher military value base. Because of limitations to land and ramp space, Reno would be unable to expand beyond 10 C- 130s.
Secretary of Defense Justification: This recommendation would realign Reno's (101) C-130s to the Air National Guard at Little Rock Air Force Base (17), where a larger, more effective squadron size would be possible. This larger squadron at Little Rock would also create the opportunity for an association between active duty and the Air National Guard, optimizing aircraft utilization.
The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $22.9M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a cost of $12.2M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $3.6M, with a payback expected in 9 years. The net present value of the cost and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $22.7M. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 263 jobs (147 direct jobs and 116 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Reno-Sparks, NV, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (0.1 percent). Environmentally, there would be potential impacts to air quality; cultural, archeological, or tribal resources; land use constraints or sensitive resource areas; noise; threatened and endangered species or critical habitat; waste management; water resources; and wetlands that might need to be considered during the implementation of this recommendation. Impacts of costs include $0.09M in costs for environmental compliance and waste management.
Community Concerns: The community opposed DoD's proposal, citing data discrepancies regarding ramp space, surge, and fuel capacity, and noted that the unit has had a positive long-term relationship with the community. The proposal would severely degrade the state's ability to deal both with natural disasters and homeland security. The local airport authority would lose Air Guard support for key responsibilities and support functions, and the Reno Fire Department would lose the unit's firefighting, airlift, and unique camera assets.
Commission Findings: The Commission found that the Department of Defense recommendation to realign Reno-Tahoe International Airport Air Guard Station was based on insufficient military value data. The Commission noted that the C-130s at Reno have a special intelligence and reconnaissance mission. Therefore the Commission established a C-130 squadron at Reno-Tahoe IAP and at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Laydown Plan.
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criteria 1 and 3, as well as from the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following:
Realign Reno-Tahoe International Airport Air Guard Station, NV. Distribute the 8 C-130 aircraft assigned to the 152d Airlift Wing (ANG) to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
Establish 9 PAA C-130 aircraft at the 189th Airlift Wing (ANG), Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
Establish 8 PAA C-130 aircraft at the 152d Airlift Wing (ANG), Reno-Tahoe International Airport Air Guard Station, Nevada.
The Commission found that this change and the recommendation as amended are consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. The full text of this and all Commission recommendations can be found in Appendix Q.
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