In the 2011 GOA Final EIS/OEIS, the Navy analyzed the potential environmental impacts of three alternatives. No new alternatives or new activities are proposed, discussed, or analyzed in the GOA Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS.
No Action Alternative
Consists of training activities of the types and levels conducted prior to 2011, but does not include activities using active sonar.
Includes the No Action Alternative, plus adjustments to the types and levels of training activities to support current and planned requirements. This alternative includes:
- Conducting one large-scale carrier strike group exercise for up to 21 consecutive days during summer months (April through October)
- Activities using active sonar
- Activities and requirements associated with the development and introduction of new weapons systems, instrumentation, technology, ships, submarines, and aircraft into the fleet
- Development and use of a portable undersea tracking range
Alternative 2 (Preferred Alternative) (Selected in 2011 Record of Decision)
Includes all activities under Alternative 1, plus additional adjustments to levels of training activities. This alternative includes:
- Conducting one additional carrier strike group exercise during summer months (April through October)
- Conducting one sinking exercise per carrier strike group exercise for a total of two per year*
*See U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, CHIEF, NAVAL OPERATIONS INSTR. 1541.5, GENERAL POLICY FOR SINKING EXERCISE APPROVAL (29 Jul. 2001) (hereinafter OPNAVINST 1541.5). “The Chief of Naval Operations shall approve or disapprove all valid SINKEX requests contingent upon availability of funding to complete environmental preparations.“ OPNAVINST 1541.5 para. 4a. “Further, SINKEX events are limited to those required to satisfy requirements for ship survivability or weapons lethality evaluation, major joint or multi-national exercises, or the evaluation of significant new multi-unit tactics or tactics and weapons combinations.” OPNAVINST 1541.5 para. 2. The Navy recognizes that the likelihood of there being two SINKEX events in any one year in the TMAA is presently unlikely. In order to ensure flexibility to meet potential Fleet training requirements, however, this Supplemental EIS/OEIS conservatively analyzes the potential impacts of conducting up to two SINKEX events per year in the TMAA.