The compromise version of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill directs DOD to develop and implement a comprehensive strategic plan for addressing shortcomings in the ability of the military’s training ranges to support readiness requirements needed to carry out the National Defense Strategy. Defense officials will need to include infrastructure projects which address training constraints in the strategic plan. The provision, section 2862, first requires DOD to evaluate:
- the adequacy of existing training ranges, including “the ability to train against near-peer or peer threats in a realistic 5th generation environment”; and
- the adequacy of current training enablers to meet current and anticipated demands of the armed forces.
The strategic plan should include:
- a priority list of location specific proposals and infrastructure projects required to address any limitations on existing resources, including “climatically induced impacts or shortfalls,” and achieve full-spectrum training against a more technologically advanced adversary;
- goals and milestones for tracking actions under the plan; and
- projected funding requirements for implementing the plan.
The undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, who would have lead responsibility for developing and overseeing implementation of the plan, will need to provide annual progress reports to Congress starting April 1, 2019, covering:
- progress made implementing the strategic plan;
- a description of additional actions takes to address limitations on training ranges and enablers; and
- assessments of individual ranges addressing the initial evaluations.
The undersecretary also will need to submit a report by April 1, 2020, with recommendations for improvements to the capabilities of training ranges and enablers.
Army photo by Gertrud Zach