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AF releases candidate bases for Battlefield Airman training

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Today the Air Force announced eight installations as candidate locations where it will potentially consolidate its Battlefield Airman training.

The installations include: Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Hurlburt Field, Florida; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Keesler AFB, Mississippi; Little Rock AFB, Arkansas; Patrick AFB, Florida; Shaw AFB, South Carolina; and Vandenberg AFB, California.

“The Air Force is committed to a deliberate and open process to address Battlefield Airman basing,” said Jennifer A. Miller, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations. “As we progress through the basing process, we will share information so interested communities are aware of what to expect.”

Last year, the Air Force reviewed its Battlefield Airman training. The review determined grouping training at consolidated locations may lead to improvements and synergies in the current training processes. As a result, the Air Force is investigating potential locations to consolidate training.

Over the last several months, the Air Force gathered information from all Air Force installations in the continental United States and assessed it against mission requirements, capacity, environmental considerations, and cost to determine options for consolidating Battlefield Airman training, if the Air Force indeed chooses to consolidate Battlefield Airman training at fewer locations.

The Air Force will now conduct detailed, on-the-ground evaluations (site surveys) of the candidate bases covering the full range of operational and infrastructure requirements. The results of the surveys will be briefed to the secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force, who will then select preferred and reasonable alternatives. The Air Force will analyze the potential environmental impacts at each location before a final basing decision is made.

The preferred and reasonable alternatives are expected to be selected in early 2017.

Currently, Battlefield Airman training is conducted at eight primary training locations across seven states.