The U.S. Department of Navy has published online its final environmental impact documents on military training covering air, land, and sea space in the Marianas region.
This final environmental statement, or EIS, covers, among others, sonar, deep-sea, “urban warfare,” and ordnance training on the islands of Guam, Rota, Saipan, Tinian, and Farallon de Medinilla.
Expansive airspace, surface sea space, and underwater sea space are also described for this training.
To go with this training, an incidental take of marine mammals was also proposed and published in the Federal Register last year.
Joint Region Marianas public affairs officer lieutenant Timothy Gorman told Saipan Tribune they will be putting out a press release on Friday for the publication of this document, which is thousands of pages long and three volumes thick.
According to Gorman yesterday, the documents will be officially published in the Federal Register on Saturday.
Previous consultation documents between the Navy and the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality reveal that the Navy would train in the Cowtown area of Saipan. This “urban warfare training” would maneuver in the existing environment with no construction, clearing, or helicopter use.
Military activities on Rota would involve amphibious raids using swimming or rubber craft. This training would be “infrequent” and be coordinated with local authorities, according to these documents.
“Substantial increases,” or some 450 percent jump in ordnance use at Farallon de Medinilla, are also proposed in the military’s two action alternatives.
The final EIS for the Marianas Islands Training and Testing study area has been expected out for some time. The documents come amid the CNMI’s official review of another EIS for live-fire training on Tinian and Pagan. Together, these documents describe the military’s plans for training in the Marianas.