Air Force wants to use PMRF for aircraft training

Meeting on proposal at Waimea

The Air Force has scheduled a meeting at the Waimea Neighborhood Center on Thursday, March 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. to gauge public opinion about the possibility of using a runway at the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility for training missions.

The training missions are being considered as part of a larger proposal by Congress to station eight C-17 aircraft at Hickam Air Force Base on O’ahu.

“The evaluation is to see if Barking Sands could be an alternative for short field runway training for the new planes that are coming,” said Lt. Christopher Anderson of the public affairs office at Hickam Air Force Base.

That option will be discussed at the Waimea meeting.

Hickam officials also will discus the proposal to locate the C-17 aircraft at the O’ahu air base to replace four C-130s, to build support structures and a shortfield runway and to use drop zones for equipment and personnel, Anderson said.

Kaua’i residents will be asked to give comments before an environmental assessment on the proposal is completed, Anderson said.

“We want to keep the community involved so they can have their say on it,” the Air Force official said.

The Air Force also must get approval from the Navy before the plan involving the training flights can be implemented.

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and mailto:lchang@pulitzer.net

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