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Military Training: DoDís Report on the Sustainability of Training Ranges Addresses Most of the Congressional Reporting Requirements and Continues to Improve with Each Annual Update
Brian J. Lepore (au)
The Dept. of Defenseís (DOD) training ranges vary in size from a few acres, for small arms training, to over a million acres for large maneuver exercises and weapons testing, and include broad open ocean areas for offshore training and testing. New advances in military technology, coupled with the complexity of recent military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world, generate the need to continually update and maintain DODís training ranges. Senior DOD and military service officials face increasing difficulties in carrying out realistic training at military installations due to outside influences. DOD has defined a number of factors ó including competition for broadcast frequencies or airspace, air pollution, noise pollution, endangered species, critical habitats and other protected resources, unexploded ordinance and munitions, urban growth around installations, and civilian access ó that it says encroach upon its training ranges and capabilities. Because the military faces obstacles in acquiring new training lands, the preservation and sustainment of its current lands is a priority. Sustainable training range management focuses on practices that allow the military to manage its ranges in a way that ensures their usefulness well into the future. DODís annual reports describe the dept.ís progress in implementing its comprehensive plan and any actions taken or to be taken to address training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, and airspace. This report discusses (1) DODís progress to date in addressing this issue and (2) improvements incorporated in DODís 2009 annual sustainable ranges report as well as DODís plans for its 2010 report submission.
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