2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 20 Apr 2002 06:18:45 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative - #2 DoD Talking Points
Here are the April 19, 2002 Department of Defense (DoD) Talking Points
on the Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative. On Monday, April 22,
2002, I hope to make a formatted version of this and two other related
documents available on the publications page of the CPEO web site.

Readiness for the 21st Century:
The Readiness & Range Preservation Initiative


"And tonight, a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a message
for our military:  Be ready."
- President Bush, September 20, 2001


*   To win the war against terrorism and get ready for future battles,
the U.S. military must be prepared -- with transformational
capabilities, practices and ways of thinking -- to become a more lethal,
agile and adaptable fighting force.

*   America's men and women in uniform must be trained for 21st Century
battles and prepared to contend with surprises, and with new, asymmetric
threats from enemies known and unknown.

*   While new technologies and high-tech weapons are transforming the
battlefield, there is no substitute for effective training of our men
and women in uniform. 

*   DoD?s top priority is their readiness.  Readiness saves lives in
combat and wins battles.

*   Realistic training at home effectively prepares our troops for the
battlefield.  Our troops? first exposure to live fire must not come as
they land on a hostile beach in combat.

*   Realistic testing produces weapons that work when they are counted
on the most.

*   Our men and women in uniform must train as they fight, under
realistic battle conditions.  Land, sea and airspace has been set aside
specifically for realistic training and must be available for this purpose.


DoD is committed to preserving training and testing ranges while
protecting the environment.


*   DoD manages 25 million acres on more than 425 military installations
in the United States, providing habitat for 300 species listed as
threatened or endangered.

*   For 2003, DoD has requested $4 billion for environmental protection programs.

*   From 1991-2001, DoD invested $48 billion on environmental programs.
Annually, the Services spend millions of dollars to protect endangered
species and comply with environmental regulations. 

*   In order to better align training and testing missions with
environmental goals, DoD is incorporating the Environmental Management
System (EMS) approach into day-to-day decision-making.  EMS is used
widely in industry and recognized as an effective management approach to
aligning business and environmental goals.

*   DoD habitat management has been so effective at Eglin AFB that more
than 90 rare or imperiled species can be found there.  The number of
Red-cockaded Woodpecker breeding groups on Eglin AFB in Florida has
increased from 169 to 262 in seven years.

*   The Air Force turned over 88,000 acres of the Goldwater Range in
Arizona to the Bureau of Land Management.  It is now part of the Sonoran
Desert National Monument.

*   At Camp Pendleton, CA, the Least Bell's Vireo population increased
from 90 nesting pairs in 1986 to more than 900 pairs in 1999 as a direct
result of Camp Pendleton's ecosystem management initiatives.

*   California Least Tern population nesting has increased 600 percent
and Western Snowy Plover nesting has increased 300 percent under Navy
stewardship at Coronado, CA. 


DoD will continue to form partnerships that promote long-term range sustainability.


*   DoD is one of the principal partners in Partners in Flight, and has
worked with many other partners in regional ecosystem efforts in the
Camp Pendleton area and the Mojave Desert.  These coordinated efforts
have enhanced flight safety and facilitated habitat conservation by
identifying the movements and behavior of birds.  

*   As a member of the Pulling Together Initiative, DoD has been able to
pool resources with other partners to launch coordinated control efforts
against invasive weeds that damage habitats and increase erosion and
fire hazards.  

*   In 1995, in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy and The Keystone
Center, DoD conducted a major national policy dialogue to explore the
issue of biodiversity management on military lands.  The dialogue
resulted in the publication of a cutting-edge handbook, "Conserving
Biodiversity on Military Lands," that will help preserve the natural
diversity of military lands and ensure they remain available for
realistic military training.

*   DoD has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and other conservation
groups, and works closely with the Fish & Wildlife Service and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to preserve sensitive
habitat throughout the U.S.

*   The U.S. Navy has joint environmental research initiatives with the
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
Cornell University, the University of Washington, the University of
Hawaii, and Oregon State University to address maritime and marine
mammal issues.

*   The Navy also partially funds state fish and wildlife agencies?
efforts to patrol the Northern Right Whale migration route with light
aircraft to spot and to report whale sightings.  On March 10, 2001, the
Marine Mammal Commission thanked the Navy for its continuing attention
to Northern Right Whales and commented that the Navy?s efforts were a
noteworthy example of its attention to critical environmental protection needs.

*   DoD will continue to work with local communities on current clean-up
initiatives underway at military sites across the United States.


Despite environmental successes, DoD is facing increasing restrictions
on land, sea and airspace reserved for testing and training


*   Increasing restrictions on testing and training areas are
threatening DoD's ability to ensure readiness.  

*   Models and simulations may reduce land use, but can't replace
live-fire testing, training and maneuvers that teach troops how to
perform complex, integrated operations under stress.

*   For example, expansion of Fort Irwin, CA, to support mechanized
training for the type of force used to win Desert Storm has been delayed
10 years as discussions about how best to protect the Desert Tortoise
have continued.  

*   Due to a variety of environmental restrictions, 150,000 acres of
Army training land at Ft. Hood, Texas, increasingly have become
unavailable for realistic training despite growing space requirements
for modern training exercises. 

*   At the Goldwater Range in Arizona, the Air Force redirects or
cancels 30 percent of live-drop missions every year to avoid
jeopardizing the Sonoran Pronghorn.

*   Environmental litigation may force the Fish and Wildlife Service to
designate critical habitat on over 65% of the 12,000-acre MCAS Miramar
and over 50% of the 125,000-acre MCB Camp Pendleton.

*   The U.S. Navy is developing new sensors and tactics (the Littoral
Advanced Warfare Development Program, or LWAD) to track state-of-the-art
quiet diesel submarines operating in shallow seas like the Persian Gulf,
the Straits of Hormuz, the South China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait. 
These submarines are in the navies of countries like Iran and North Korea.

>   In the 6 years the program has operated, over 75% of the tests have been impacted by environmental considerations.

>   In the last 3 years, 9 of 10 tests have been affected.  One test was cancelled and 17 related projects have been scaled back.

*   Plaintiffs have filed suit alleging environmental violations at Fort
Richardson, Alaska.  If the suit is successful, the Army may have to
contend with severe restrictions on live-fire training at the only
mortar and artillery impact area at Fort Richardson, threatening
readiness of the 172nd Infantry Brigade, the largest infantry brigade in
the Army. 


Greater clarity and more flexibility in some environmental laws is
required to enable DoD to fulfill its commitment to military readiness
and environmental stewardship.


*   DoD seeks opportunities to clarify several specific legislative or
regulatory requirements to preserve its capability to train and test
military forces while protecting the environment.

*   In a legislative package transmitted to Congress, the Department of
Defense is requesting the following:

>   Endangered Species Act: Confirm an existing policy (under court challenge) that provides that DoD cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on natural resource management may make the designation of critical habitat on DoD lands unnecessary.

>   Marine Mammal Protection Act:  Follow the National Research Council's recommendation that the current, ambiguous definition of "harassment" of marine mammals, which includes "annoyance" and "potential to disturb," be focused on more biologically significant effects.

>   Migratory Bird Treaty Act:  Reverse a March 2002 court decision applying the MBTA to constrain vital training at the Farallon de Medinilla range in the Western Pacific, a ruling that threatens essential testing and training nationwide.

>   Clean Air Act:  Maintain DoD's commitment to Clean Air Act standards while providing flexibility to meet state air quality policies ? allowing flexibility for training and readiness.

>   Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund:  Confirm that the clean-up of military munitions is not required so long as munitions remain on operational ranges.  Policies governing clean-up of off-range munitions and munitions causing imminent danger on-range would remain unchanged.

>   Cooperative Buffer Zone Acquisition Authority:  Allows military departments to enter into agreements with third parties ? such as private conservation organizations -- to prevent urban development that threatens testing and training.  The proposal would assist DoD in maintaining ?buffer zones? between ranges/bases and urban areas, and preserve needed habitat or potentially imperiled species, lessening the need for legal restrictions.

>   Conveyance of Surplus Property for Conservation Purposes:  Allow DoD to convey surplus property to a state or local government, or to a nonprofit organization that exists for the primary purpose of protecting open spaces and natural resources.  The proposal allows the transfer of land only if it is used for conservation purposes in perpetuity.


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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