2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 8 May 2003 15:53:00 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] GAO Report on Encroachment
The following is the abstract from the GAO report  "Military Training:
DOD Approach to Managing Encroachment on Training Ranges Still Evolving
GAO-03-621T"' from  April 2, 2003.

The report can be viewed online at:

(Please note that the GAO report is 8.03 MB and may take some time to
DOD faces growing challenges in carrying out realistic training at
installations and training ranges--land, air, and sea--because of
encroachment by outside factors. These include urban growth, competition
for radio frequencies or airspace, air or noise pollution, unexploded
ordnance and munition components, endangered species habitat, and
protected marine resources. Building on work reported on in 2002, GAO
assessed (1) the impact of encroachment on training ranges, (2) DOD's
efforts to document the effect on readiness and cost, and (3) DOD's
progress in addressing encroachment.

Encroachment was reported as having affected some training range
capabilities, requiring workarounds--or adjustments to training
events--and sometimes limiting training, at all stateside installations
and major commands GAO visited. GAO has identified similar effects
abroad. Encroachment generally limits the time that training ranges are
available and the types of training conducted. This in turn limits
units' ability to train as they would fight. Most encroachment issues
are caused by population growth and urban development. Because both are
expected to increase, as are the speed and range of weapon systems used
on training ranges, the problems are also expected to increase. Despite
DOD--voiced concerns about encroachment's effects on training, service
readiness data in 2002 did not show the impact of encroachment on
training readiness or costs, although DOD's most recent quarterly report
to Congress on readiness did tie a training issue directly to
encroachment. While individual services are making some assessment of
training requirements and limitations imposed by encroachment,
comprehensive assessments remain to be done. Likewise, complete
inventories of training ranges are not yet available to foster sharing
of ranges on an interservice or joint basis. This increases the risk of
inefficiencies, lost time and opportunities, delays, and added cost.
Also, although some services have reported higher costs because of
encroachment-related workarounds for training, service data systems do
not capture the costs comprehensively. DOD has made some progress in
addressing individual encroachment issues, such as implementing some
short-term actions, proposing legislation to clarify the relationship
between training and conservation statutes, and issuing a range
sustainment directive. But more is required for a comprehensive plan, as
recommended by GAO earlier, that clearly identifies steps to be taken,
goals and milestones to track progress, and required funding.

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