Environmental report on expanded training released

Published: Monday, September 9, 2013 at 09:58 AM.

But there are plans for new and increased levels of training. Under the preferred alternative, the planned training activities include:

n Conducting additional surface-to-surface, surface-to-air and anti-submarine warfare activities during post-delivery test and trial and during training;

- An increase in air combat maneuver events in the Key West Range Complex

- Introduction of surface ships outfitted with kinetic energy weapon capability, and training for this new weapon system;

- Performance of additional training with unmanned vehicles in support of mine warfare and of civilian port defense missions in commercial and civilian ports. Events would occur at various East Coast and Gulf of Mexico locations.

These and other activities involve the use of explosives and active sonar. Potential impacts of these on marine mammal populations have been a primary concern expressed in public meetings.

The report summary notes that there will be an increase in cumulative impacts from past, present and future training but says they remain low compared to other human causes, such as commercial vessel ship strikes, entanglement, ocean pollution and bycatch.

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