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TrainingThe United States (U.S.) Department of the Navy (Navy) proposes to continue and enhance training activities within the existing Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC). In order to support the Navy’s requirements for fleet readiness, the Navy proposes to:

  • Adjust baseline training activities from current baseline levels to levels needed to accommodate evolving mission requirements, including those resulting from training, tactics development, testing, and eventual introduction of new platforms (aircraft) and weapons systems into the fleet.

Replace the content under Purpose and Need with the following language: The purpose of the Proposed Action is to provide sustainable and modern airspace, range, maneuver areas, training facilities, and range infrastructure and resources to fully support training activities occurring on the FRTC in accordance with the assigned roles and missions for the NSAWC.

The Proposed Action is needed to achieve and maintain military readiness by using the FRTC to support and conduct military readiness activities. In this regard, FRTC furthers the Navy’s execution of its roles and responsibilities under 10 U.S.C. §5062. To comply with its Title 10 (10 U.S.C. §5062) mandates, the Navy needs to:

  • Maintain current levels of military readiness by enhancing training at the FRTC;
  • Accommodate possible future increases in training activities at the FRTC;
  • Accommodate training activities associated with force structure changes; and
  • Maintain the long-term viability of the FRTC as a military training and testing range.
The Navy has developed alternatives pursuant to 40 C.F.R. §1502.14, which are discussed below, based on this statement of the purpose and need.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to evaluate a range of reasonable alternatives to achieve the purpose and need of the Proposed Action. Two “action” alternatives (Alternative 1 and Alternative 2) that meet the Navy’s purpose and need are currently under consideration. Analysis of a “no action” alternative is also required. These alternatives were analyzed to help determine the appropriate level and type of training and testing activities to meet the Navy’s requirements.

No Action Alternative

Navy training activities currently conducted at the FRTC, presented as the No Action Alternative, have been ongoing at various levels and frequencies since the 1940s. Training data for the period 2010–2012 were compiled and reviewed by Navy subject matter experts to establish baseline training activities for analysis under the No Action Alternative. The numbers for annual training activities analyzed under the No Action Alternative are based on annual averages calculated from the 2010–2012 training data. Under the No Action Alternative, the Navy would maintain the baseline level of training activities. Analysis of the No Action Alternative enables decision makers to compare the magnitude of the environmental effects of no action (current activities) to the effects of the action alternatives.

Alternative 1

Alternative 1, in addition to accommodating training activities addressed in the No Action Alternative, would support an approximately 6 percent increase in the types of training activities and the number of training events conducted at FRTC, and accommodate force structure changes. The specific activities that contribute to this overall 6 percent increase are Combat Search and Rescue exercises, Gunnery Exercise (Air-to-Ground), High-speed Anti-radiation Missile Exercises, and Missile Exercises (Air-to-Ground). In addition, two new activities, Ground LASER Targeting and Dismounted Fire and Maneuver, would be conducted under Alternative 1.

Alternative 2 (Preferred Alternative)

Alternative 2 would include all training elements of Alternative 1 (accommodating currently conducted and increased training activities) for a 16 percent increase in levels identified under the No Action Alternative. Under Alternative 2, training activities of the types currently conducted would be increased by 10 percent over levels identified in Alternative 1.

Environmental Resources Analyzed for the Draft and Final EIS

The FRTC Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) includes an analysis of potential impacts on various environmental resources including biological resources, geology, soils and water resources, land use and recreation, air quality, noise, cultural resources, transportation, socioeconomics, environmental justice, and public health and safety. The Navy is seeking input on the Fallon Range Training Complex EIS, including the Proposed Action and alternatives, and the accuracy and adequacy of the environmental analysis.

TrainingThe mission (or role) of the U.S. military is to ensure the freedom and safety of all Americans, both at home and abroad. Title 10 of the U.S.C. § 5062 and §10102 requires the Services to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas. Modern military actions require teamwork between hundreds or thousands of people, and their various equipment, vehicles, ships, and aircraft, all working collectively as a coordinated unit to achieve success. To do this, the Services employ a building block approach to training. Training proceeds on a continuum, from teaching basic and specialized individual military skills, to intermediate skills or small unit training, to advanced, integrated training events, culminating in joint exercises or pre-deployment certification events. This is commonly referred to by the military as the “crawl, walk, run” approach to training.

Training must be as realistic as possible to provide the experience so important to success and survival, and is real world driven at the FRTC.  Part of the mission of FRTC includes preparation for Major Combat Operations (MCO), both by conducting training, developing tactics and providing direct support to Fleet and Combatant Commanders in planning, assessing threat capabilities and sending personnel to the front to provide on-site planning and execution support. Some examples of Major Combat Operations are:

Realistic Training
  • Training Events
    • Large Force Planning / Employment
    • Dynamic and Time Sensitive Targeting
    • Advanced Fighter Tactics
    • Advanced Electronic Attack (EA)
    • Combat Search and Rescue
  • Other Requirements
    • Train to full capabilities
    • Dynamic Contingency Planning

In addition to Major Combat Operations, the Navy is also incorporating training events and developing scenarios that stress the ability to conduct activities in conventional, urban and special operations settings. Some examples of these Other Contingency Operations training include:

  • Irregular Warfare
  • Counter IED Training
  • Conventional and Urban Close Air Support
  • Special Operations Forces Integration
  • Convoy Escort