The Naval Warfare Department from the Fallon Training Complex set up informational boards, a video table and various exhibits at the Hawthorne Convention Center Friday afternoon.
Captain David Halloran, the commander of the Fallon Naval Facilities, stated that the Fallon air space has reached a point of constraints, due to updated technology, combat safety and the readiness necessary with the state of the art aircraft now being used.
Speaking in basic terms, the Fallon Naval Facility sees every pilot prior to their deployment because of the training location and what can be facilitated within the area. The tactical training at the Nevada location, gives a realistic training environment, even though ideally there is a need to expand the air space so that ground troops can work in tandem with the pilots to fulfill in-depth scenarios to create the most thorough preparation.
An aspect of general concern is the Environmental Impact Studies, in regards to training with minimal impact to the land, animals, humans and overall environment. All decisions must meet with the federal, state and tribal standards. The Fallon Training Center has proudly won awards since 2004 as a premier training ground which has strived to maintain pristine conditions on the surrounding ranges. Their stewardship toward the environment is of upmost importance to the overall survival of their facility while balancing the necessary air strike training and air support skills needed for combat.
With overheads that were supported by a color handout, Halloran explained the importance of defense capabilities being adjusted within the primary Fallon teaching facility. This study and the need for such an endeavor with the public and many other government entities are due to an outgrowth of need within a clear, expanded air space.
“In the 1990’s Fallon remained strategic but now we are flying F18’s and F35’s which have outsized the air space. They fly higher and expand in 360 degree scenarios. The best simulation of combat is to put our pilots and military ground personal into a realistic tactical training experience. We have come to a time when we need to train to capacity to assure that our forces are safely prepared.”
Building an efficient strike involves a variety of aircraft events according to Halloran. Each large force involves up to 24 aircrafts as a presentation with multiple targets and a pre-planned strike in a real life scenario. Due to the intricate planning, this is a three to four week undertaking and involves land and air coordination. With the modernization of air range, land is limited and has been thwarted by the threat of non-access due to the withdrawal of public lands, non-federal lands being absorbed and by other studies done by specific government agencies. With today’s air drops, 12 miles are needed to complete a drop with excessive air speeds and precise necessity of specific targets.
At this “Public Scoping Phase” Alex Stone, who represents the U.S. Pacific Fleet Environmental Impact Studies and follows the National Environmental Policy which was enacted in 1970, stated that every effort will be properly done to study an extensive analysis on the land, wildlife and outlining issues facing a decision of this magnitude. He stressed that there is a short window of time to mail letters, concerns or questions into his location. Your correspondence can be mailed before Nov. 25, 2016 to: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, Code EV21.AK; 1220 Pacific Coast Highway, Building 1, 5th floor; San Diego, Calif. 92132.