The Pentagon needs to take a close look at its training ranges — including land, sea and airspace — to determine where they need to be modernized, as the infrastructure has not kept pace with advances in combat and weaponry, according to report language in House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry’s portion of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill. “Modern war demands extensive training on weapons employment and target identification, as potential adversaries possess complex air defenses and highly sophisticated electronic countermeasures. However training ranges lack sufficient capability and capacity to support full-spectrum training requirements, including the replication of near-peer adversaries capabilities,” according to the committee.
To ensure DOD’s training range infrastructure is keeping up with competitive demands, the committee directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess:
- the extent to which DOD has identified the current capacity of training range infrastructure to meet the military services’ demand for range access;
- the extent to which DOD has evaluated the training range infrastructure to determine whether it is sufficient to conduct training against near-peer adversary capabilities; and
- the extent to which DOD has developed a comprehensive strategy and investment plan to improve the availability and sufficiency of training ranges to meet the department’s training needs.
The committee also directs GAO to brief it by Feb. 1, 2019, on the findings of its review.
Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Allyson Manners