Navy training and testing includes the use of active sonar and explosives to prepare Sailors to successfully counter hostile threats. Newer-generation submarines are extremely quiet and difficult to detect. Active sonar is the most effective method of detecting modern, quiet submarines and underwater mines.
Sonar proficiency is complex and requires regular, hands-on training in realistic and diverse conditions, such as those provided in the Study Area. Lack of realistic training jeopardizes the lives of military personnel in combat situations.
To be ready to respond to emergencies and national security threats, military personnel must train and test in a variety of high-stress environments, including scenarios that involve the use of and exposure to explosive ordnance. Training and testing at sea with explosives is limited, occurs only in established operating areas, and only after the Navy, in coordination with the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration, issues notices to mariners and pilots to ensure public safety.