Defense Infrastructure: DOD has Made Limited Progress in Assessing Foreign Encroachment Risks on Federally Managed Land
U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States
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For many years, the Department of Defense DOD has reported that it faces growing challenges in carrying out realistic training at installations and training ranges because of the cumulative result of outside influences that inhibit military training and testing, which DOD refers to as encroachment. Traditionally, DOD has defined encroachment concerns as urban growth around the ranges competition for radio frequencies or airspace air pollution noise pollution unexploded ordnance and munitions components endangered species habitat and protected marine resources. More recently, DOD stated in its 2014 Sustainable Ranges Report that it is concerned with security encroachment by foreign entities acquiring assets such as mines or energy projects or otherwise conducting business on federally managed lands near test and training ranges, which may provide an opportunity for persistent surveillance of DOD test and training activities. According to DODs 2015 Sustainable Ranges Report, the department remains focused on the issue of foreign investment in industries located in proximity to military training and testing areas because of potential surveillance and collection capabilities provided to foreign entities that invest in these assets. We use the term foreign encroachment to refer to this issue.A significant portion of DODs mission-essential test and training activities are located adjacent to, on, above, or in other close proximity to federal lands, particularly in the western part of the United States. For example, the U.S. Air Force Nevada Test and Training Range at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada the U.S. Army National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, California the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California and the U.S. Navy Fallon Range Complex at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, are all surrounded by federally-owned land.