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Final Environmental Assessment for the Beddown and Flight Operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota

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The United States U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP, a component within the Department of Homeland Security DHS, has the responsibility of protecting the nation s borders against the illegal entry of terrorists and terrorist weapons and to enforce the laws that protect the U.S. homeland. In order to accomplish this mission, CBP Air and Marine AM requires a location for northern border operations. In order to better meet this mission, CBP AM proposes to establish Unmanned Aircraft System UAS capability at Grand Forks Air Force Base GFAFB in Grand Forks, North Dakota. CBP AM identified GFAFB as a potential permanent location because the Base infrastructure meets or exceeds the minimum support requirements for flight operations, provides increased physical security, provides synergy with other UAS operators and allows for the reutilization of existing facilities which reduces costs and time required to establish a new facility complex. GFAFB would become the second operating center for CBP UASs, primarily for Northern border and Northern hemisphere missions. This Environmental Assessment EA will evaluate the potential environmental consequences associated with each proposed alternative for UAS flight operations and the infrastructure modification requirements necessary for the incoming CBP mission. The purpose of this action is to establish a U.S. CBP AM Northern Border Operations Center that has the capability to support UAS operations in the vicinity of GFAFB. CBP AM has identified the need to establish a UAS operating location along the northern border. GFAFB has been identified as the location for the beddown of up to six Predator B UASs that will be vital to securing the Northern Border of the U.S. The implementation of this mission is a crucial component of DHS s layered approach to border security. The use of UASs in support of these mission requirements serves as a force-multiplier for this agency.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Environmental Health and Safety

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