Attention Readers: We're Back
C&G Newspapers is pleased to have resumed publication. For the time being, our papers will publish on a biweekly basis as we work toward our return to weekly papers. In between issues, and anytime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter.
 The final F-35A Environmental Impact Statement was prepared by the National Guard Bureau and released in February. Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township is one of five military installations where the Air Force is considering bringing F-35s.

The final F-35A Environmental Impact Statement was prepared by the National Guard Bureau and released in February. Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township is one of five military installations where the Air Force is considering bringing F-35s.

File photo of artist rendering


Selfridge F-35 update: Final Environmental Impact Statement released

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published March 6, 2020

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — After collecting comments from several stakeholders, an impact statement was recently published that will affect the future of Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

In late February, the National Guard Bureau sent out a memo regarding the final U.S. Air Force F-35A operational beddown Air National Guard Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS.

Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, home of the 127th Wing, is one of five military installations where the Air Force is considering bringing F-35s.

In August, a draft of the EIS was released.

The 34-page final EIS analyzes potential environmental consequences that could result from the proposed F-35A beddown.  

The beddown is proposed by the secretary of the Air Force for F-35A aircraft at two of five alternative locations.

Other locations up for consideration are the 115th Fighter Wing from Madison, Wisconsin; the 124th Fighter Wing from Boise, Idaho; the 125th Fighter Wing from Jacksonville, Florida; and the 187th Fighter Wing from Montgomery, Alabama.

The secretary of the Air Force has identified the installations in Wisconsin and Alabama as the preferred alternatives.  

The EIS states that each of the five locations has a fighter mission that is assigned to the Air Force Air Combat Command for its federal missions.

The final document was prepared by the National Guard Bureau, which incorporated relevant, substantive comments from the public, along with federal, state and local agencies.  

“This provides the secretary of the Air Force, the decision maker, with a comprehensive review of the potential environmental consequences of selecting any of the alternatives,” an Air Force fact sheet states.

The public comment period in 2019 ran from Aug. 9 to Nov. 1.

The F-35A would replace the Air National Guard’s F-15, F-16 and A-10 fighter attack aircraft with 18 assigned aircraft and two backup aircraft at each of the two selected military installations.

The EIS timeline indicates that a 30-day waiting period began after the EIS’ announcement in the Federal Register, which came Feb. 28.

It’s expected that the Air Force will issue a record of decision, or ROD, on where the F-35s will be based no sooner than March 30.

“The F-35A aircraft is not nuclear-capable and would not have the hardware necessary for a nuclear mission,” the EIS indicates.

Following publication of the ROD, a monitoring plan will be prepared and will address specific mitigations identified during the environmental process.

Several government officials have advocated for bringing the F-35s to Macomb County. Most notably was in January, when President Donald Trump, during a speech in Warren, said strong consideration has been given toward deploying F-35s at Selfridge.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller has stated, “It makes the most sense to base these aircraft at Selfridge. The airmen of the 127th Wing have proven they have the critically important skills — tested and proven in battle — to support this new aircraft.”

Last year, 127th Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Rolf Mammen said that if Selfridge is selected, by 2024, the F-35s would fly up to 6,746 operations a year, compared to 5,098 currently flown with the A-10s. If Selfridge is not selected, the A-10s would remain for the foreseeable future.

Locally, residents may go to the Harrison Township Public Library, at 38255 L’Anse Creuse St.; the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, at 40900 Romeo Plank Road in Clinton Township; or the Mount Clemens Public Library, at 150 Cass Ave., to view the final EIS.