2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 20 May 2003 13:33:57 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Air Force officials seeking public input
New Mexico
Air Force officials seeking public input
Gary Mitchell

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Air Force officials are seeking to enlarge the
training capabilities of Cannon air crews by introducing the use of
white phosphorus (WP) rockets at Melrose Bombing Range.

“Under the proposal, Cannon Air Force Base pilots would train with WP
rockets in support of the Combat, Search and Rescue (CSAR) mission,” a
recent press release by Cannon officials stated. “The WP rockets permit
day and night training for marking targets, identifying rescue locations
and obscuring ground activity. Base officials are confident this
training will allow air crews to maintain competency in the full
spectrum of missions assigned to the 27th Fighter Wing F-16 Fighting
Falcon aircraft and pilots to ensure their ability to fully support
their vital role in the Aerospace Expeditionary Force.”

To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Air Force has
prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment and a Draft Finding of No
Significant Impact to analyze the effects of the proposed use of white
phosphorus rockets on the Melrose range, the press release states.
Public comment is being sought through June 23. Comments may be mailed
to: HQ ACC/CEVP, 129 Andrews St., Suite 102, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
23665-2769, Attn: Ms. Brenda Cook.

“White phosphorus is used for illumination, for flares and to do
night-time training,” said Jon Goldstein, communications director for
the New Mexico Environment Department. “If people come in contact with
it, military guidelines say they shouldn’t ingest or eat it. It can burn
your skin. It’s flammable. But in terms of the impact on the
environment, we’ll determine that whenever we receive the assessment
from the Air Force.”

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