Environmental Assessment: Sooner Drop Zone Expansion Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma
SCIENCE APPLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL CORP MCLEAN VA
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The proposed action includes the acquisition of a 320-acre tract of land and construction of support facilities, as necessary, to allow for the implementation of dual row airdrop system DRAS training at the Sooner Drop Zone DZ. The DRAS system changes the payload configuration in C-17 aircraft and uses gravity, rather than a parachute, to extract the cargo. This modification results in pallets that leave the aircraft at a slower rate of speed than with current equipment extraction. Safety margins have been created to allow for safe airdrop operations. Implementation of DRAS training would require the extension of the length of the DZ to provide the required safety margin. Expanding the DZ by 320 acres ensure 99 percent reliability that the airdrop load will land on the DZ under normal circumstances. To provide the required safety margin, Altus AFB has proposed to extend the length of the Sooner DZ by 840 yards proposed action. As an alternative, Altus AFB could acquire a 640-acre tract of land and construct support facilities. The DZ would be extended to 3,520 yards and ensure 100 percent reliability that the airdrop load will land on the DZ under normal circumstances. Conversely, the Air Force could select to take no action no-action alternative. The following biophysical resources were identified for study at Altus AFB noise, air quality, earth resources, water resources, hazardous materials, biological resources, cultural resources, environmental justice, and transportation.
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