Department of the Air Force

AIR WARFARE CENTER (ACC)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, NEVADA

HQ AWFC/CC
4370 North Washington Blvd., Ste. 117
Nellis AFB NV 89191-7076

Mr. Robert Loux
Executive Director Nuclear Waste Project Office
Capitol Complex
Carson City NV 89710

Dear Mr. Loux

We, the Air Force, understand the importance of developing a safe transportation route to Yucca Mountain and will work closely with you to make this effort a success. As S1271 is similar to HR 1020, I've attached a letter stating the Air Force's position on HR 1020 for your review.

Access to certain portions of the Nellis Range complex is very restricted. In many instances, a Top Secret clearance is required. Only those individuals who have this clearance and a "need to Know" are granted access. Once you've identified your requirements, submit your request to Colonel Gerald Carpenter,, 99th Range Group commander, 3770 Duffer Driver, Nellis AFB NV 89191-7001 for approval.

Every effort will be made to cooperate with your office within the confines of Air Force regulation and policy. If you have any further question or concerns, please contact me.

Sincerely

MARVIN R. ESMOND
Major General, USAF
Commander

Attachment:
SAF Ltr, 20 Sep 95

Global Power for America

SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE

WASHINGTON

September 20, 1995

The Honorable Don Young
Chairman, Committee on Resources
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

In response to your letter regarding H.R. 1020, legislation to reform the Department of Energy's program for disposal of high level radioactive waste, the Air Force provides the following information. The Air force understands the following information. The Air Force understands the national importance of developing a safe and affordable transportation route to yucca mountain and wishes to work with you to avoid any potential conflict with Air Force and Department of Defense (DoD) operations conducted on the Nellis ranges.

The Nellis range complex is the Air Force's and DoD's premier range for training of operational flying units as well as conducting developmental and operational testing of weapon systems such as the B-1, B-2, F-15, F-16, F-117 and other classified programs. The Nellis range complex consists of extensive air and ground working areas, live ordnance impact areas, and an extensive array of instrumented threat simulators. The synergistic effect is a high fidelity air combat environment which is used for both training and testing.

We know of no existing radioactive waste route overflight restrictions in other areas of the country. Assuming hour legislation or future agreements post no overflight restrictions, we see minimal impact to the day-to-day training of Air Force and DoD units. However, any route which traverses the range and is subject to overflight restrictions would severely affect national security by reducing Air Force and Joint training. Additionally, it would seriously degrade the training of our friends and Allies. Further, overflight restrictions to either the departure or approach flight corridors to Nellis Air Force Base are considered show stoppers due to the difficulty of safely meeting attitude or flight path restrictions.

In regard to classified programs, there would be significant impacts and in accordance with your request we have provided that information through the House National Security Committee.

The Air Force strongly requests that H.S. 1020 be amended to (1) impose no route overflight restrictions and (2) for classified program considerations, designate rail and truck routes which use existing or new routes that avoid Nellis restricted airspace/ranges and Nellis Air Force Base (e.g., arrival and departure corridors).

Notwithstanding the impacts that have been identified, the Air Force is committed to working with the State of Nevada, the Department of Energy, and the Congressional committees in reaching a satisfactory solution.

Sincerely

Sheila E. Windnall
Secretary of the Air Force

See State correspondence to the Air Force (July 31, 1997)
concerning DOE's ongoing plan to study the "Chalk Mountain Heavy Haul Route"
through the Nellis Air Force Range


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State of Nevada
Nuclear Waste Project Office
Capitol Complex
Carson City, NV 89710
(702) 687-3744 voice
(702) 687-5277 fax
nwpo@govmail.state.nv.us e-mail

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