Air Force eyes southern Arizona sites for rescue training

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The Air Force plans to use 16 small sites in six southern Arizona counties for training to practice rescue missions.

Officials at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson on Thursday announced the release of a supplemental environmental assessment of 20 sites in Cochise, Gila, Graham, Pima, Pinal and Santa Cruz counties.

The sites on state and federal land range from a third of an acre to 2.7 acres, and the Air Force wants to use them regularly as landing sites for helicopter crews and parachutists assigned to the 463rd Rescue Group.

Of the 20 sites studied, four are being dropped from further consideration. Two have newly identified archaeological sites, while two others were deemed unsuitable because of noise and other impacts on nearby residences and a group campground.

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