• Partnership Protecting NAS Pax River from Encroachment Reaches Milestone

    Partnership Protecting NAS Pax River from Encroachment Reaches Milestone0

    The partnership of federal, state and local agencies, and other organizations protecting Naval Air Station Patuxent River and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Atlantic Test Ranges has protected a total of 5,000 acres across Maryland, Delaware and Virginia since 2010, after recently acquiring a conservation easement on a 475-acre farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The partnership — which includes organizations from three states, various counties, land trusts and conservation groups, along with the Navy — has worked through DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program to preserve land under the airspace of the Atlantic Test Ranges …

  • DOD Makes Progress Implementing Training Range Sustainment Plan, GAO Finds0

    The Marine Corps has expanded Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., significantly enhancing the service’s ability to conduct training. The Marine Corps plans to conduct the first large-scale exercise on newly acquired lands at the center in August, although the use of the new lands will be phased in over the next several years. Prior to the expansion, the Marine Corps lacked the capability to fully exercise a large Marine air-ground task force in a realistic training scenario …

  • Senate Committee Directs DOD to Develop Plan to Sustain Training Ranges0

    The Defense Department should develop a strategic plan to provide the necessary resources for infrastructure improvements at national test and training ranges and tackle encroachment issues, according to the report accompanying the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month. The committee cited the critical role training ranges play in providing “full-spectrum readiness” for all services, including large live fire training exercises …

  • More Investment Needed at Range, Test Facilities, Senate Panel Says

    More Investment Needed at Range, Test Facilities, Senate Panel Says0

    The Senate Appropriations Committee says it is concerned about the lack of investment and sustainment at DOD’s major range and test facility bases, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2017 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The department has requested only seven military construction projects needed to support test and evaluation missions in the past five years, the report states. As an example, the lawmakers point out that White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the nation’s largest overland testing facility, has not received a milcon project in support of its test and evaluation missions in more than a decade. The result is that support for testing of missile systems may be hampered. “The lack of military construction investment at these test and evaluation facilities places future technology development at risk and threatens the ability to counter emerging threats …

  • REPI Program Leverages Local Partnerships to Protect Military Missions0

    The Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program, one of the Pentagon’s most effective tools for limiting encroachment and preserving critical habitat surrounding military activities, in recent years has strived to increase collaboration with other federal agencies and non-traditional partners to better leverage congressional funding and expand the benefits of its projects. Through fiscal 2015, REPI has protected nearly 438,000 acres in 88 locations across 30 states on projects aimed at avoiding land use conflicts, typically by engaging in buffer partnerships that obtain easements on land bordering installations and training ranges, according to the program’s 10th Annual Report to Congress. The program’s partners — states, communities and conservation groups — supplied 47 percent of the $1.1 billion spent on REPI projects since Congress authorized such partnerships in 2002 …

  • Heavy Use for New Heavy Weapons Range at Ft. Bragg

    Heavy Use for New Heavy Weapons Range at Ft. Bragg0

    After the opening of a new multipurpose machine gun range at Fort Bragg was delayed for four years, soldiers have been keeping the training area busy as they attempt to qualify on the service’s biggest weapons. Range 66A — which was built for soldiers to train using the M249 squad automatic weapon, M2 .50-caliber machine gun, MK 19 grenade launcher and M240 machine gun — has been used every day since it opened in September. The range is the first of its kind at the North Carolina post and is booked through the next four months, reported the Fayetteville Observer. With 87 live fire ranges, Fort Bragg has more training ranges than any two other installations put together. But without a range to qualify on heavy weapons, soldiers needed to secure a waiver to count their qualification scores from other ranges …