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Improvement Continues in DODís Reporting on Sustainable Ranges, but Opportunities Exist to Improve Its Range Assessments and Comprehensive Plan
Brian Lepore (au)
Recent operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world have highlighted the need for U.S. forces to train as they intend to fight. Dept. of Defense (DOD) training ranges and operating areas are required to be managed and operated to support their long-term viability and utility to meet the national defense mission, which enhances training by providing realistic, hands-on experience. Sustainable training range mgt. focuses on the practices that allow the military to manage its ranges in a way that ensures their usefulness well into the future. Because the military faces obstacles in acquiring new training lands, the preservation and sustainable mgt. of its current lands must be priorities. DOD needs to continually update and maintain its training ranges, which face ever increasing limitations and restrictions on land, water, and airspace as residential, commercial, and industrial devt. continues to expand around and encroach upon once remote military training and testing installations. Section 366(d) of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2003 requires GAO to submit to Congress an evaluation of DOD's report regarding its training range comprehensive plan and its readiness reporting improvements within 90 days of receiving the report from DOD. In 2007, GAO found that DOD had made improvements to its annual sustainable ranges report, but further improvements could be made. This is GAOís 5th review. It discusses (1) the extent to which DOD's 2008 sustainable ranges report and training range inventory address the elements of section 366 and (2) opportunities for DOD to further improve its sustainable ranges report. Illus.
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