Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
With the filing of the Draft EIS, the USMC is initiating a 45-day public comment period and has scheduled two public open house meetings to receive oral and written comments on the Draft EIS. Federal, state and local agencies and interested parties are encouraged to provide comments in person at the public meetings, or in writing anytime during the public comment period. This notice announces the dates and locations of the public meetings and provides supplementary information about the environmental planning effort.
The Draft EIS was distributed to Federal, State, and local agencies, elected officials, and other interested parties and individuals on July 13, 2012. The document can be viewed online and downloaded from
A copy of the Draft EIS will also be made available upon written request to Townsend Bombing Range EIS Project Manager, Post Office Box 180458, Tallahassee, Florida, 32318.
A Notice of Intent to prepare this EIS was published in the
(1) Acquisition of land adjacent to TBR to accommodate the larger WDZs required for PGM training. To effectively deliver PGMs at TBR, the land area must be increased to ensure the containment of the WDZs, allow for their realistic combat employment, and ensure the safety of military personnel and civilians present at and around TBR.
(2) Acquisition of a timber easement within the current TBR boundary to ensure public safety. It is necessary for the USMC to own all the timberland and to manage it in support of mission requirements.
(3) Modification of existing airspace Restricted Area R-3007C by extending the current restricted area laterally to the proposed acquisition area boundary. The purpose of this additional airspace is to exclude non-participating aircraft from intruding into hazardous operations, as required by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The proposed modification would eliminate the current gap from 100 feet Above Ground Level down to the surface of the ground over the areas proposed for acquisition.
(4) Construction of Infrastructure to support PGM training. This includes the placement and/or construction of new targets, a new observation tower, and support facilities, as well as additional utilities, roads, and fencing.
(5) Improvement of training capabilities of the individual aircrew air-to-ground ordnance delivery training syllabus for the F/A-18. Currently, MAG 31 pilots can accomplish less than half of their air-to-ground training requirements at TBR. The expansion of TBR and the creation of new target areas would increase capabilities from 47 percent to 85 percent of the individual air-to-ground ordnance delivery training syllabus for the F/A-18 at TBR.
Alternative 1 includes Acquisition Area 1A and Acquisition Area 1B, totaling an acquisition of 11,187 acres. Alternative 1 also includes the acquisition of a 3,007-acre timber easement. Restricted Area R-3007A would be modified by extending the current restricted area laterally to the proposed acquisition area boundary. The proposed modification would eliminate the current gap from 100 feet above ground level down to the surface of the ground over the areas that are proposed for acquisition. Alternative 1 includes the construction of three new target areas: Target Area 6 (Airfield Site with Simulated Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants [POL] Site/Fuel Farm); Target Area 7 (Urban Target Area [UTA]); and Target Area 8 (Fuel Farm/POL Site). Under Alternative 1, air-to-ground training capabilities would increase from 47 percent up to 72 percent.
Alternative 2 includes Acquisition Area 3, totaling an acquisition of 23,480 acres. Like Alternative 1, Alternative 2 also includes the acquisition of the timber easement and the same modification to existing airspace. Alternative 2 includes the construction of five new target areas: Target Area 1 (UTA); Target Area 2 (Terrorist Training Camp); Target Area 3 (Conventional Bull's Eye); Target Area 4 (Convoy Site); and Target Area 5 (Train Depot). Under Alternative 2, air-to-ground training capabilities would increase from 47 percent up to 85 percent.
Alternative 3 includes Acquisition Area 1A, Acquisition Area 1B, and Acquisition Area 3, totaling an acquisition of 34,667 acres. Like Alternatives 1 and 2, Alternative 3 includes the acquisition of the timber easement and the same modification to existing airspace. Alternative 3 includes the construction of eight new target areas (Target Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8), and training capabilities would increase from 47 percent up to 85 percent.
Alternative 4 (Preferred Alternative) includes Acquisition Area 1B and Acquisition Area 3, totaling an acquisition of 28,436 acres. Like Alternatives 1, 2, and 3, Alternative 4 includes the acquisition of the timber easement and the same modification to existing airspace. Alternative 4 includes the construction of six new target areas (Target Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8), and training capabilities would increase from 47 percent up to 85 percent.
No Action Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, the Proposed Action would not take place and the status quo would continue, the USMC would not acquire any land for training purposes, and training operations at TBR would not change. The No Action Alternative would not provide a local East Coast range capable of supporting the use of PGMs by MAG-31. Aviation units stationed at MCAS Beaufort would continue to deploy to the southwestern United States to undergo PGM training and meet individual aircrew training requirements. TBR would continue to support current training operations, but would be unable to accommodate PGM training.