Importance of Navy Training - Train As We Fight
Realistic training is the single greatest tool the Navy has in preparing and protecting
its personnel. “Train As We Fight” is not just a phrase - it is a statement
of the absolute necessity to realistically train men and women in uniform for the
conditions they may encounter while protecting the nation.
Realistic training requires access to areas and environments that closely
match the locations where our Sailors may face combat or complex situations. International
events, changes in naval strategy, base closures, and population
growth are increasing challenges the Navy faces in training its personnel. To respond to these challenges and increase the
sustainability of Navy ranges, the Navy has launched a number of efforts aimed at
preserving training ranges while also minimizing environmental effects of training
activities. One such effort is the transition to managing training at a range complex-wide
level to optimize the use of Navy ranges and provide for the efficient use of resources. The individual planning units are the range complexes
shown in the figure below.
Navy Training and Testing Activities
Comprehensive training is required to prepare for real life combat situations and to provide maximum protection to
Service men and women who go in harm’s way. A variety of training exercises are conducted in the safe and controlled
environments of the Navy’s range complexes, including, air,
underwater and surface operations.
Preserving Navy Training Ranges
“Ranges” are locations where Navy and Marine Corps personnel train to accomplish
their mission of national defense. Ranges are grouped into complexes (see figure
on front page). A “range complex” is an organized and designated geographic area
used by the Navy to conduct necessary operations and training exercises. Having a
designated range complex allows our military to train and perform required exercises
against a simulated enemy in an environment that is safe and controlled for our
sailors and for other users of the area. Ensuring sustained use of Navy ranges,
operational areas and airspace is a growing challenge as encroachment from
various sources limits and sometimes restrict their use. Yet Naval personnel require access to continued, consistent,
and realistic training opportunities using evolving technologies to defend our country.
The Navy has developed a comprehensive approach to “sustain” or preserve ranges for continued training access.
The Tactical Training Theater Assessment and Planning (or “TAP”) program is a multi-faceted approach focusing on:
Mission readiness and strategic vision
Operational and training requirements, and enhanced range complex
Environmental and encroachment issues
Stakeholder and public involvement, and organizational efficiency
The objectives of the TAP program are to ensure the readiness of Navy
personnel and promote sustainability of Navy ranges. Preserving ranges means
actively managing resources to promote sustainability, including protecting
natural and cultural resources and minimizing effects on the environment.
Ongoing Environmental Planning
Alongside TAP efforts, the Navy has prepared several environmental planning documents focused on individual types
of Navy training activities. Some of these ongoing efforts analyze training exercises across multiple range complexes
and assist the Navy with environmental planning for the range complex. Examples include:
- Atlantic Fleet Active Sonar Training (AFAST)
- Major Atlantic Fleet training exercises
- Undersea Warfare Training Range (USWTR)
The Next Phase of Environmental Planning
This EIS/OEIS furthers the objectives of the Navy’s TAP program and will comprehensively analyze Navy training
and testing within the Gulf of Mexico Range Complex. This EIS/OEIS will also ensure compliance with U.S.
environmental laws and provide continuing opportunity for public review and comment.
Train As We Fight
Defending the U.S. and protecting
military personnel requires
rigorous, real-life training in the
air, on land, and at sea. Realistic
training is one of the most
important things the Navy does to
ensure readiness and to prepare
and protect the U.S. military.
“Train As We Fight” is not just a
phrase - it is a statement of the
absolute necessity for realistic
training and preparing service
members for the conditions in
which they may find themselves.
Training to prepare for national
defense also is required by Title 10 of the U.S. Code which states: “The Navy shall be
organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat incident to
operations at sea.”
Navy training includes:
Navy training in the Gulf of Mexico
Range Complex includes:
Classroom and simulator
training – involves individual Navy units and typically
lasts for less than one day.
Pilot Training – Primary and advanced training for pilots, navigators,
and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operators.
Basic level training
– involves individual Navy
units and typically lasts for
less than one day.
Intermediate level training – involves coordinated exercises, such as the
Composite Training Unit Exercises, and can span a three-week period. This
integrated training can involve an entire carrier strike group, which is composed
of aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, cruisers, submarines and support ships.
After completion of this training, units are considered “surge ready,” meaning they
can deploy on short notice if required.
Advanced level training- occurs during large-scale Joint Task Force Exercises.
These exercises last about 10 days and usually include other Department of
Defense and allied nation participants.
Navy operations in the Gulf of Mexico Range Complex include
Training can include jet aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicle flights, and can
involve deployment of gun ammunition, chaff, flares, and bombs. Training can be against a
mock enemy ship, submarine or other aircraft.
The Navy uses vessels ranging in size from rubber hull inflatable boats to aircraft carriers.
Training can include activities geared toward improving navigation skills, object recognition
through sonar use, underwater mine avoidance, and anti-terrorism measures. It can also involve
gun firing. Smaller ships generally train in shallow water areas to practice skills such as
drug interdiction and harbor security.
Submarine training involves tracking ships or other submarines,
and can include simulated attacks on surface ships or
submarines. These activities may also involve the use of passive
(listening) sonar for tracking purposes. Active sonar, which
allows the Navy to “see” underwater by emitting pulses of sound,
may also be used at a more limited level. (For more information
about Navy use of sonar, please visit www.afasteis.gcsaic.
com). Submarines also conduct mobility activities in complex
environments and situations, underwater mine avoidance, and
the deployment of special operations forces.
Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation:
RDT&E includes the development of new vessels, aircraft and
weapons systems. RDT&E allows the Navy to increase its
understanding of the actual battlefield environment, improve
system design and performance, and maintain the technological
edge necessary to meet future military requirements. RDT&E
activities analyzed in this EIS/OEIS will be those similar to the
Navy training operations conducted within the Gulf of Mexico