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Fact Sheet | Meeting Future Training and Testing Requirements

Using the best available science and methods of analysis, the U.S. Navy is preparing an environmental impact statement/overseas environmental impact statement (EIS/OEIS) to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with conducting naval training and testing activities within the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Study Area, including activities that involve the use of active sonar and explosives. Most of these training and testing activities have been previously analyzed and authorized, and are similar to the types of activities that have been occurring in the study area for decades. 



The Navy proposes to conduct training and testing activities within the AFTT Study Area, including activities that involve the use of sonar and explosives. Training Sailors and testing systems are necessary to achieve and maintain military readiness. Proposed activities to the the types of activities that have been occurring in the AFTT Study Area for decades and are generally consistent with those analyzed in the AFTT EIS/OEIS, completed in 2013, and earlier environmental planning documents.


Navy Training and Testing



The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to evaluate a range of reasonable alternatives to achieve the purpose of and need for the proposed action. The Navy is developing alternatives based on the levels and types of training and testing needed to meet future requirements.



  •  Phase I: The Navy accomplished and completed this phase in 2010 through environmental documents for seven separate ranges or activities occurring in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico:
    • ​Virginia Capes Range Complex
    • Navy Cherry Point Range Complex
    • Jacksonville Range Complex
    • Atlantic Fleet Active Sonar Training
    • Undersea Warfare Training Range
    • Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City
  • Phase II: The Navy consolidated these seven separate environmental planning documents into the AFTT EIS/OEIS, completed with public input in 2013. In the AFTT EIS/OEIS, the Navy re-evaluated impacts from historically conducted activities and updated training activities based on changing requirements. 
  • Phase III: The Navy analyzed the proposal to conduct training and testing activities in the AFTT Study Area beginning in November 2018 into the reasonably foreseeable future.  


For each alternative, the Navy will analyze the potential impacts on the following resource areas from training and testing activities:

  • Sediments and water quality
  • Air quality
  • Vegetation
  • Invertebrates
  • Habitats
  • Fishes
  • Marine mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Birds
  • Cultural resources
  • Socioeconomic resources
  • Public health and safety


The Navy will analyze training activities, including:

  • Major training exercises
  • Adjustments for the introduction of new vessels, aircraft, weapons systems, unmanned vehicles, and new sensors
  • Elimination of vessels, aircraft, and weapons systems no longer in service
  • Use of unmanned systems and remotely operated unmanned systems


To download the graphic printable file from AFTT Phase III, please click the thumbnail below. 

View Printable Fact Sheet