Guam – The Commander of the 36th Operations Group at Andersen Air Force Base, Col. Randy Kaufman, has issued a letter to the island community advising that he is taking steps to minimize noise from the increased activity at Andersen Air Force Base.
In his letter, Col. Kaufman writes “as a father, living on the base, I share your concerns over aircraft noise,” and he writes that he is taking concerns about noise “very seriously” and “implementing robust measures to mitigate the noise.”
Among those steps are:
* working with the FAA to allow aircraft to land on Andersen’s northern runway and avoid flying over off-base areas
* directing all aircraft to land from the northeast during the nighttime from 10 pm to 6 am
* instructing pilots to avoid the use of afterburners while over the island, unless required for the safety an aircraft and its crew
* initiating coordination with the FAA to design a tactical fighter recovery option that will bring aircraft to the base at higher altitudes, avoiding populated areas and reducing the power levels required to fly and operate the aircraft during approach and landing.
Col. Kaufman also states that “every single Airman at Andersen AFB understands that we are part of the Guam family” and he thanks the island community for their support.
READ Col. Kaufman’s letter in FULL below:
Andersen Air Force Base 36th Wing Operations Group
By Colonel Randy Kaufman
As the 36th Operations Group Commander at Andersen Air Force Base I am responsible for all flying operations from Andersen AFB. I want to thank all of our local community residents for their support and provide a little information on the mission of Andersen Air Force Base and the steps I’ve taken to minimize our impact on the local community.
As the westernmost sovereign territory in the Pacific theater, Andersen AFB provides the United States Department of Defense unparalleled opportunities for training and ensuring aircrew readiness due to its ideal flying conditions, relatively unlimited airspace and nearby air-to-ground weapons training range.
During any given year Andersen AFB is host to multiple rotating bomber, tanker and fighter aircraft as well as permanently stationed RQ-4 Global Hawks. Additionally, because of our unique training advantages Andersen AFB is also the preferred location to host numerous Department of Defense joint and combined exercises, most recently COPE NORTH, Pacific Air Forces premier trilateral exercise with the Japanese Self Defense Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. Additionally, beginning last November, as part of the United States-Government of Japan Defense Policy Review Initiative, Andersen AFB also began hosting Aviation Training Relocation flight operations. These operations, incorporating United States Navy and Marine F-18’s as well as United States Air Force F-15s are expected to occur every other month for the foreseeable future. Finally, every two years in September, Andersen Air Force Base hosts Pacific Command’s, VALIANT SHIELD exercise incorporating more than 100 different aircraft for a two week period.
During these periods of operations you can expect higher than normal aircraft activity and as a father, living on the base, I share your concerns over aircraft noise. Please understand that I take your concerns very seriously and assure you that I am implementing robust measures to mitigate the noise. During the last few months I have analyzed our flight operations and have instituted several measures to reduce the noise effects on you and your families. These include; working with the local Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop procedures to recover aircraft to our northern runway and avoid flying over off-base areas to the maximum extent possible; directing all aircraft to recover from the northeast during night hours, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., to eliminate flying over populated areas during those hours; and, instructing pilots to avoid the use of afterburner while over the island unless required for the safe recovery of the aircraft. Furthermore, I am currently initiating coordination with the FAA to design a tactical fighter recovery option that will bring aircraft to the base at higher altitudes, avoiding populated areas and reducing the power levels required to fly and operate the aircraft during approach and landing.
Every single Airman at Andersen AFB understands that we are part of the Guam family and we appreciate your support. In recognition of this support it is only fair that we strive to minimize our impact on the local community, but please understand that we have a vital mission to support our President’s priorities and ensure that the United States can protect and defend all of us against potential threats.
I thank you again for your support and understanding.