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Sheppard Air Force Base , Texas

Program: Compatible Use

Sheppard Air Force Base , Texas

Wichita Falls sponsored Joint Land Use Study to ensure civilian growth is compatible with the mission at Sheppard Air Force Base.

The City of Wichita Falls served as the project sponsor and grantee for the 12-month Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for the region surrounding the Sheppard Air Force Base (AFB), which was completed in May 2014.  The Texas Cities of Burkburnett, Cashion, Iowa Park, Pleasant Valley; Frederick, Oklahoma; Wichita County, Texas; and Tillman County, Oklahoma, participated in the study. 

The City of Wichita Falls’ JLUS represents a community-driven planning process for Sheppard AFB and the surrounding communities to promote compatible civilian development in support of military readiness and defense capabilities; protect public health, safety, general welfare, and quality of life; promote the economic viability of the communities; and foster continued communication between Sheppard AFB and the surrounding communities to address compatibility issues.  The JLUS planning process benefits both the military installation and its surrounding communities by identifying existing and future land use conflicts, and where mitigation strategies, ordinances, and future planning may counter possible civilian development that may impair continued military operations.

Sheppard AFB contains 5,297 acres, 4,598 of which are owned by the Department of Defense. The base is located approximately five miles northeast of Wichita Falls, Texas, and wholly within Wichita County.  The installation's primary missions are the 13 nation Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program and the Department of Defense’s joint service enlisted technical training in logistics, civil engineering, and aircraft maintenance.  The base is the largest and most diversified training center in the Air Education and Training Command, and is host to the 82nd Training Wing and the 80th Flying Training Wing.

Residential growth north of the base is likely to increase and may have a negative impact on flight operations.  Proposed high voltage power distribution lines north of the base between the Clear Zone and the recently incorporated Town of Cashion will enable private land owners across the region to economically connect future wind turbines to the Texas power grid. Significant wind farm development across the region can significantly impair flight training at Sheppard AFB.  Under a long-term lease for flight training purposes, the base also uses an outlying public airport field and facilities in Frederick, Oklahoma, approximately 40 miles to the north.  Wind farm development in this region could adversely impact flight training at the outlying field.

The study effort resulted in delivery of a Final JLUS Report in which recommendations are provided for follow on actions to promote compatible community development in support of continued military operations.  Of primary concern to Sheppard AFB and City of Wichita Falls is identification of appropriate actions to ensure compatible siting of wind energy development.

Point of Contact:

Karen Montgomery

City of Wichita Falls

(940) 761-7404

Program: Compatible Use

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