The Department of Defense’s (DoD) ranges are among its most valuable assets. They provide the essential foundation for troops to train in realistic circumstance at appropriate scales. Live fire training, maneuver exercises, flight operations and myriad other training activities provide hands-on experience critical to support national security objectives and to ensure a high state of military readiness. Test ranges serve critical functions in the development and testing of new weapons systems.
DoD resource managers must balance many competing demands. Numerous military activities on installations affect the environment and adjacent communities with noise, dust, and other air emissions. Environmental contamination and safety hazards associated with unexploded ordnance can result from the use of munitions. In addition, military installations are home to many threatened and endangered species and, in some cases, provide their last remaining critical habitat.
The sustainable management of military ranges is critical to DoD’s ability to continue use of its assets in perpetuity while complying with the nation’s environmental laws. SERDP and ESTCP invest in a broad range of environmental issues that address the most pressing needs of range managers.
Wildland Fire and Prescribed Burning
Prescribed burning on military lands is a critical natural resource management activity employed by DoD land managers within fire-adapted ecological systems. Prescribed burning is used to maintain and restore native ecological systems and the biotic components, including listed and at-risk species that are dependent on fire as an ecological process. Military lands also are prone to fires from training activities. These fires can be the source of complaints from surrounding landholders and communities. Learn more about the role SERDP and ESTCP play in understanding both the ecological role and air quality impacts of fire.
Energetic Compounds on Military Training Ranges (2018)
Department of Defense Operational Range Sustainability through
Management of Munitions Constituents (2014)
Department of Defense Best Management Practices for
Munitions Constituents on Operational Ranges (2014)