About REPI

 What is the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program?

The Department of Defense (DoD)’s REPI Program is a key tool for combating encroachment that can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations. The REPI Program protects these military missions by helping remove or avoid land-use conflicts near installations and addressing regulatory restrictions that inhibit military activities. The REPI Program is administered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

A key component of the REPI Program is the use of buffer partnerships among the Military Services, private conservation groups, and state and local governments, authorized by Congress at 10 U.S.C. § 2684a. These win-win partnerships share the cost of acquisition of easements or other interests in land from willing sellers to preserve compatible land uses and natural habitats near installations and ranges that helps sustain critical, at-risk military mission capabilities. For more information on REPI buffer partnerships, review the primer here.

REPI also supports large landscape partnerships that advance cross-boundary solutions and link military readiness, conservation, and communities with federal and state partners through a common, collaborative framework. Such partnerships include the Southeastern Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS) and the Western Regional Partnership (WRP), and REPI also participates in the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership among DoD and the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior.

Since its first partnerships in 2003, REPI has grown and fostered a sea-change in how DoD responds to conservation and military training issues and engages in outside-the-fence land use planning. Engaging with all stakeholders at the federal, state, and local level, REPI continues to explore policy and regulatory solutions to incompatible development, off-installation species habitat, and other mission sustainability issues.

 How does the REPI Program benefit military readiness?
REPI enhances military readiness by preventing, mitigating, or reducing restrictions on the timing, frequency, and type of training activities caused by encroachment. REPI does this by promoting compatible development and protecting valuable habitat that supports unconstrained training, testing, and operations. In addition, REPI gives base commanders supportive tools through education, innovative strategies and pilot projects, and transfer of case studies addressing regulatory barriers to help increase their flexibility in meeting mission requirements.

In short, REPI is a truly cost-effective tool that supports the warfighter and provides added value to the taxpayer’s investment in military readiness. Click here to learn more about these benefits.

 What is "encroachment" and why is it an important issue to address?
Encroachment is any external factor that inhibits military readiness, including but not limited to the growing competition for land, airspace, waterfront access, and frequency spectrum. Incompatible land uses can impact critical, at-risk military mission capabilities at different scales over time. Increasingly, land uses far away from the installation and range boundaries can also have an impact on the military’s ability to train, test, and operate. Development near military areas can restrict training, testing, and operating in many ways, including:

• Lights from residential and commercial development reduce the effectiveness of night-vision training;
• Complaints about the noise, dust and smoke generated by military activities result in restrictions on the timing, frequency, and type of training activities;
• Competition for frequency spectrum interferes with mission readiness;
• Communication towers, wind turbines, highways, and energy transmission lines near or through training areas all hinder realistic training and testing; and
• Land development that destroys or fragments endangered species habitat pushes those species onto less developed military lands, resulting in increased restrictions on training and testing land.

These issues are important because our Nation’s readiness depends on ensuring our installations and ranges provide realistic training and effective weapon systems testing. Costly workarounds, restricted, or unrealistic testing and training can inadequately prepare soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines for their combat missions. If military installations are to remain active and contributing economic participants in their communities, the installations must have the space necessary to successfully accomplish their test and training missions.

 How does the REPI Program benefit the environment?
While REPI’s primary mission is to protect military readiness, REPI also benefits the environment by conserving land near military installations and ranges. REPI takes advantage of market-based approaches to protect the most land at the lowest cost, thus providing significant value to the taxpayer by leveraging the Department’s investments one-to-one.

These partnerships often work across boundaries and protect working lands (e.g., farms, forests, ranches), wildlife habitat, water resources, natural spaces for recreational opportunities, and threatened and endangered species. Click here to learn more about these benefits.

 What other activities does the REPI Program support?
REPI also develops and transfers lessons learned from innovative strategies and pilot projects that address regulatory barriers and constraints, such as projects focusing on off-installation habitat conservation to meet on-installation Endangered Species Act obligations.

Other activities include hosting educational webinars and range tours, publishing primers focused on a variety of stakeholder groups and encroachment issues, and providing additional resources to support the Military Services.

 How do the Military Services participate in REPI?
OSD provides overarching REPI Program policy, guidance and funding support for Service efforts to protect missions and installations. Within this overall framework, each Service has its own approach to utilizing the REPI Program that works best for that Service. Please click here for more information about the Service programs.

In addition, the Services participate in the SERPPAS and WRP regional partnerships and work with state and local governments and other stakeholders to create collaborative solutions.

 How does OSD prioritize actions for REPI funding?
The evaluative process for funding REPI buffer projects starts with the Services submitting proposals to OSD for the annual buffer project funding process. OSD uses tailored qualitative and quantitative criteria to evaluate the proposals and works with the Services to take into consideration the value and priority of the missions being protected. OSD also encourages proposals that provide multiple benefits to the community and environment and strengthen partner cost-sharing. OSD works to ensure that the REPI Program supports the Department’s Better Buying Power initiatives for affordable programs by increasing innovation and delivering better value to the taxpayer and warfighter.

 What is the REPI Challenge?
The REPI Challenge is a pilot effort initiated in 2012 offering up to $5 million for a REPI buffer land transaction at an eligible military base. The Challenge’s goals are to cultivate projects that conserve land at a greater scale, test promising ways to finance land protection, and harness the creativity of the private sector and market‐based approaches. OSD will continue to examine the results of the Challenge and the potential for continuing it in the future. For more information, see the REPI Challenge page.

 What are some new opportunities on the horizon for REPI partnerships?
REPI will continue to work with the Services and partners to define training space requirements and future trends to maximize strategic use of funding for land conservation and other supportive actions.

The Department is also working with other federal agencies and stakeholders to create strategies and incentives to protect large landscapes where conservation, working lands, and national defense interests converge – also known as Sentinel Landscapes.

Meanwhile, REPI is continually advancing innovations in new financing techniques, endangered species crediting, and use of other authorities, and encourages our partners to continue to accelerate the rate and pace of protection.