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Navy Publishes Notice of Intent to Prepare Supplemental EIS for P-8 Basing

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS121114-10

From Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- A Notice of Intent (NOI) will be published in the Federal Register Nov. 15 announcing the Navy's intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the introduction of the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) to the U.S. Navy Fleet.

The Supplemental EIS will address the potential environmental impacts of new home basing alternatives and updated P-8A MMA program information.

In September 2008, the Navy completed the Final EIS for the Introduction of the P-8A into the U.S. Navy Fleet, which evaluated the environmental impacts of home basing 12 P-8A MMA fleet squadrons (72 aircraft) and one Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) (12 aircraft) at established maritime patrol home bases. On Jan. 2, 2009, a Record of Decision (ROD) was issued that called for basing five fleet squadrons and the FRS at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, four fleet squadrons at NAS Whidbey Island, and three fleet squadrons at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Hawaii Kaneohe Bay, with periodic squadron detachments at NAS North Island (Alternative 5).

To meet the Navy's current and future requirements and maximize the efficiency of support facilities, simulation training equipment, and on-site support personnel, the Navy now proposes to analyze additional alternatives for P-8A aircraft home basing. The Navy has determined that a dual-siting alternative, rather than home basing the aircraft at three locations, may best meet current requirements. The two potential home base locations for the P-8A MMA are NAS Jacksonville and NAS Whidbey Island.

Home basing at two locations would result in an increase in aircraft and personnel at NAS Jacksonville and NAS Whidbey Island compared to the 2008 ROD. There is no new facility requirement for additional aircraft at NAS Jacksonville. Additional aircraft at NAS Whidbey Island would result in an expanded facility footprint. Under a dual-siting alternative, a presence in Hawaii would be maintained with a continuous presence of two aircraft filled by rotating detachments at MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay. The two-aircraft detachment would result in fewer personnel and a reduced facility footprint at MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay when compared to the 2008 ROD. There would be no change to the periodic squadron detachment operations at NAS North Island, as described in the 2008 ROD.

No decision has been made to change the 2008 Record of decision. When the Supplemental EIS is complete, the SECNAV can decide to homebase at two locations, or to continue implementing homebasing at three locations in light of the updated information.

During the 45-day public comment and agency review period following release of the Draft Supplemental EIS, anticipated in the summer of 2013, the Navy will schedule public meetings to discuss the findings of the Draft Supplemental EIS and to receive public comments.

The public meetings will be held near each of the home basing locations. Dates, locations, and times for the public meetings will be announced in the Federal Register and local media at the appropriate time.

The Navy has established a public web site for the Supplemental EIS: []. This public web site includes up-to-date information on the project and schedule, as well as related documents associated with the Supplemental EIS and 2008 Final EIS. To be included on the Navy's mailing list for the Supplemental EIS (or to receive a copy of the Draft Supplemental EIS), interested individuals may submit an electronic request through the project web site under "mailing list" or a written request to: P-8A MMA EIS Project Manager (Code EV21/CZ); Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic, 6506 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23508.

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