Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Navy to fence off Tinian training sites

Navy to fence off Tinian training sites

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 04:07
by Jude Lizama | Variety News Staff

THE proposed training sites on Tinian will be fenced to ensure public safety during exercise, according to the draft environmental impact statement.

A total of five security gates would be constructed as part of the proposed action. However, the draft study states that the location of security gates would “not vary with alternative.”

“There would be relatively the same potential characteristics for closure and availability under all action alternatives,” the draft statement said.

The military is enhancing three training facilities on Tinian in preparation for training activities of U.S. Marines who will be relocated from Okinawa to Guam.

Danger zones

A similar component of all three alternatives is the inclusion of surface danger zones; and the development of rifle known distance, automated combat pistol/multipurpose firearm qualification course, platoon battle course, and field firing live fire training ranges.

According to the impact statement, the primary difference among alternatives is the location and orientation of the firing ranges and “associated notional surface danger zones.”

Under the “alternative 1”—the preferred option—all four proposed ranges would be located in the south-central portion of the military lease area within the area delineated by 8th Avenue, 90th Street and Broadway.

Additionally, all alternative 1 live fire range footprints would partially overlay the Federation Aviation Administration mitigation area, and all associated danger zones would “extend over the FAA mitigation area, DoD ‘s “No Wildlife Disturbance” Mount Lasso escarpment area and a segment of Broadway.

The preferred alternative “was evaluated to ensure it met the purpose and need “to locate U.S. military forces within a timely response range to meet international agreement and treaty requirements and to fulfill U.S. national security policy requirements to provide mutual defense, deter aggression, and dissuade coercion in the Western Pacific Region.”

Awaiting ROD

The study states that the U.S Navy will not make its decision on a final alternative “until the Record of Decision is signed” at the conclusion of the National Environmental Policy Act process.

Alternative 2 proposes a northeast range alignment that avoids the FAA mitigation area and Mount Lasso escarpment area for its field firing range. Its associated danger zones extend over the ocean.

Out of all three proposals, alternative 3 proposes to situate three of four ranges at the military lease area’s southern boundary, which keeps three of four range footprints out of the FAA mitigation area. If implemented, layout plans of alternative 3 affect the least amount of surface area.

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