Air Force seeks public opinion of proposed F-15 urban training missions in Idaho

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 00:58:38-04

The 336th Fighter wing out of Mountain Home Air Force Base is proposing new training where F-15 Strike Eagles would be flying over nine metropolitan areas including Boise.

The Air Force is about to conduct an environmental assessment on the impacts of the proposed training that would include Boise, Mountain Home, Burly, Twin Falls, Grandview, Glenn's Ferry, Bruneau, Hammet and Mountain Home AFB.

Air Force Major Adam Mattheis said the Air Force has seen an increase for the need of urban training to support troops on the ground, identify possible threats while minimizing civilian casualties, however this training would be right in our own backyard.

"No weapons are coming off the airplane, no lives are on the line so we can take lessons learned here in a peacetime training environment and apply those when we deploy," said Mattheis.

In addition, there will be ground support from the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers who will communicate with pilots using radios and lasers, Mattheis said the Air Force has conducted a number of tests and found the laser is eye safe.

Still, the public has concerns that mostly focuses around noise, air pollution and the quality life in Idaho.

"I still have to decide," said Karen Newton of Boise who attended one of the Air Force scoping meetings. "I don't find it as anger provoking as the F-35's."

The Air Force said that there will be no low altitude flying and that it will be difficult for people to notice the jets flying over the city.

"I feel better about it after what I heard here today," said Newton. "There's still more I want to know."

Before the Air Force continues with the environmental impact study, they want to hear the concerns from the public, they held two meetings on Thursday, the next meeting will be at the Boise Public Library starting at 4:00 p.m. on Friday.

Once they finish the study they will once again look for public comment for a period of 30 days before moving forward.

For more information click here, the Air Force said you can email them, write a letter or call the base at (208)828-6800.