Air Force: Tate’s Hell war games a go

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 09:10 AM.

Buffer zones maintained around nests

GRASI plans to establish up to 12 radar, telemetry, and emitter training sites throughout the Panhandle to be used for air training. Radar and telemetry emitters track aircraft and navigation; training emitters are radar simulator systems that train personnel to identify and counter missile or artillery threats from land or sea.

Emitter sites would be leased, either temporarily, in use for several days, or mobile, used for a single day. All sites would be on improved or semi-improved land, many associated with fire towers. Not all 12 sites would be in use simultaneously, and based on a map in the EIS, only one emitter site is proposed for Tate’s Hell and two others in the Apalachicola area.

According to the BA, the war games would involve minor land disturbance but no development, “use of wheeled vehicles on established roads only, cross-country troop movements, bivouacking, helicopter and light aviation landings on existing roads and cleared areas, amphibious operations, and use of blank ammunition and pyrotechnics in select areas.”

The BA says use would gradually increase over time to “acceptable levels that can be compatibly supported by the (FFS).” The BA promises activity “would be well below the utilization rates of dedicated military ranges, which are utilized up to 232 days.”

Military activity in the forest would be reduced during hunting season. The military would coordinate with the FFS to schedule training at appropriate times.

Prior to training sessions, the military will obtain leases or agreements incorporating conservation measures to preserve the habitat and develop evaluation techniques to determine the environmental impact of their training activities.

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