Challenges to military use of federal lands and airspace are growing. To maintain land for testing and training, the services are going to have to combine their talent and resources.
The Department of Defense controls approximately 25 million acres of land in the United States—an area roughly the size of the state of Kentucky. The amount of "military only" and shared airspace is even greater, at more than 50% of our nation's skies. As custodian of one of the largest segments of federal lands and airspace, DoD has come under ever-increasing scrutiny from a host of interests as population and economic growth expand into remote areas. Intense debate has arisen between government agencies, special interest groups, and individual citizens over the best use of America's natural resources, and every service—including the Army and Air National Guard—is being caught up in it. This debate must be joined, not just by those who have been the traditional caretakers of these resources within DoD, but by the war fighters as well, for they will be affected the most by the decisions that are made.