The majority of the proposed testing and training activities are similar to the types of activities that have occurred in the Study Area for decades.
The environmental impact analysis will support the issuance of federal regulatory permits and authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
The Navy proposes to continue conducting testing and training activities within the Study Area as analyzed in the 2002 EIS/OEIS. The majority of the proposed testing and training activities to be analyzed in the EIS/OEIS are similar to those that have occurred in the Study Area for decades. The Proposed Action also accommodates an increase in the frequency of activities, new mission areas, and new platforms (such as aircraft and vessels).
The purpose of the Proposed Action is to:
The Proposed Action is needed to allow for continued testing and training activities in support of military readiness and Department of Defense mission requirements as required by Title 10 to provide combat ready forces. An EIS/OEIS is needed to adequately cover current and future mission areas and activities. Additionally, the analytical methods used in the 2002 EIS/OEIS are not consistent with the current modeling and analyses in more recent Navy environmental documents. Potential impacts will be re-examined based on new science, data, and models.
Testing and training activities conducted within the Study Area include the use of:
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to evaluate a range of reasonable alternatives to achieve the purpose of and need for the Proposed Action. Using the most current and best available science, the Navy will consider and analyze a no action alternative as well as action alternatives that support the required military readiness activities into the reasonably foreseeable future. Additional action alternatives will be informed during the scoping process and continued dialogue with stakeholders.
For more information on the Proposed Action, alternatives, and types of testing and training activities, please see the project fact sheet.
The Navy has conducted testing and training activities in the Study Area for decades, with some activities dating back to 1946 when the Point Mugu Sea Range was established.
The Study Area is located 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles offshore of Ventura County in Southern California. The Study Area includes the Point Mugu Sea Range, which consists of 36,000 square miles of controlled sea and airspace designated for military testing and training activities.
The Study Area meets the established mission to conduct state-of-the-art weapons systems testing and evaluation, and maintain military operational readiness, by providing a safe, operationally realistic, and thoroughly instrumented sea range testing environment. The evolution of international threats and operational technologies requires large areas for testing and training.
Realistic testing and training are crucial for military readiness, personnel safety, and national defense.
The Navy must test and train with new technologies to defend the United States and its interests. Sailors must be ready to respond to many different situations when called upon. Training must be as realistic as possible to fully prepare Sailors for what they will experience in real-world situations and to ensure their success and survival.
Equipment and systems must also be tested prior to deployment and operational use. To ensure accuracy and safety, systems are tested in varying marine environments, such as differing water depths, seafloor types, and salinity levels, as well as replicated warfighting environments.
The type and frequency of testing and training activities can change due to the introduction of new technologies, the evolving nature of international events, advances in warfighting doctrine and procedures, and changes in force structure (organization of ships, submarines, aircraft, and weapons). Such developments can influence the frequency, duration, intensity, and location of required testing and training activities. The Proposed Action reflects the most current set of activities deemed necessary to accomplish the Navy mission in the Study Area.
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