Holloman Air Force Base is proposing to fly 10,000 training sorties above the Gila National Forest annually, including low-level flights at 500 feet above ground surface, as well as 1,000 supersonic sorties. The F-16’s will also train with air defense systems that drop toxic chaff and 30,000 magnesium flares annually.
The human, wildlife and environmental impacts of this proposal could be severe. The extreme noise from low elevation overflights can be frightening, disruptive, and adversely affect the health of humans and wildlife. Chaff and flares introduce aluminum, plastic fibers and magnesium into the environment, with potential impacts to water quality and wildlife and increased risk of wild fire.
The Gila contains significant ecological, cultural, and historical values and is too sensitive to look and sound like a war zone. Military training is important, but this is not the appropriate place.