In July 2002, the Navy Department released its draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on basing the Commander Naval Air Force Atlantic Fleet's new F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. It listed eight options for basing these aircraft and selected two as preferred alternatives:
Keep six squadrons at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Virginia; send four to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Keep eight squadrons at NAS Oceana; send two to MCAS Cherry Point.
Regrettably, keeping all ten Atlantic Fleet Super Hornet squadrons at NAS Oceana was not a preferred alternative. Because the final decision will not be made until early 2003, however, the Navy has time to revisit the alternatives and reassess the basing of all the F/A-18E/Fs at NAS Oceana—which would be in the best interests of the Navy and U.S. taxpayers.
Alternatives and Implications