Sustainable Range Program
What is it? The Sustainable Range Program is the Army’s roadmap for how it designs, manages and uses it ranges in order to essure the capability, availability, and accessibility of its ranges to meet its training mission. It is the Army’s response to the increasing challenges brought about by encroachment and meeting the ever increasing need for ranges and training land brought about by the Global War on Terrorism, the Army Campaign Plan, Base Realignment and Closure, and Integrated Global Positioning and Basing Strategy. Because many programs and functions affect the management of our ranges and training lands, the Sustainable Range Program is the Army’s overarching guidance for integrating operational, training, facility, safety, and environmental requirements to improve the management of its ranges and ensure their sustainability to support mission requirements now and into the future.
The Army’s Sustainable Range Program is made up of its two core programs: the Range and Training Land Program (RTLP), which includes the day-to-day management of its ranges as well as new range construction; and the Integrated Training Area Management (ITAM) Program for the repair and maintenance of its maneuver lands.
Integral to the success and support of the two core programs is the SRP Outreach Program, dedicated to educating the public on the importance of live-fire training and improving the Army’s understanding of public concerns related to how we train and manage our ranges.
What has the Army done? The Sustainable Range Program provides the framwork for addressing encroachment challenges and optimizing resources and policies through the development of new tools, procedures, and initiatives that ensure the capability of our ranges into the future. These tools, procedures, and initiatives include:
- New research and management efforts in the area of Threatened and Endangered species which have yielded significant reductions in training restrictions imposed to protect the red-cockaded woodpecker at major training installations such as Fort Bragg , NC and Fort Stewart , GA.
- The fielding of the Range Managers Toolkit which enables range managers to display safety impacts associated with live fire training on a Geographic Information System platform. The toolkit, developed jointly between the Army and the U.S. Marine Corps, also includes a module to assess noise impacts on the surrounding communities.
- The fielding of the SRP Outreach Training Support Package designed to assist installations in communicating with and educating the public on the importance of live training.
- The development of a Range Complex Master Plan automated tool (expected to be fielded in 2007) that supports integrated decision making to support sustainable ranges.
- Executing the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program which provides a powerful tool to work in partnership with state and local governments and conservation groups to establish buffer areas outside the installation boundary to mitigate encroachment impacts on installations. The Army has executed the program at 5 installations representing 45,000 acres .
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? The Army plans to continue its effort to beta test and field the Installation Range Complex Master Plan tool; continue efforts to protect installations from encroachment through the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program; and implement new initiatives focused on reducing restrictions to training through outreach, research, and innovative management practices.
Why is this important to the Army? Fighting and wining the nation’s wars is the foundation of the non-negotiable contact that the Army has with the American people. Therefore, Army forces must train to and maintain the highest readiness levels – to do this training must replicate realistic combat conditions. Army ranges and training lands provide the basis to ensure Soldier and unit proficiency. The Sustainable Range Program will drive the Army’s efforts to ensure the continuing capability of its ranges and training lands to meet the mission.