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The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) provides REPI’s overarching guidance and funding support for Military Service efforts to protect missions and installations. The Services prepare long-term strategies, engage in partnerships and complete transactions via Service-specific processes described below.
The Army uses a variety of supporting programs and tools to ensure sustainment of its installations, ranges, and test and training lands, including its implementation of the REPI authority through Army Compatible Use Buffers (ACUBs). ACUBs enable the Department of the Army to maintain the capability to support mission requirements through conservation by entering into cooperative agreements with partners who purchase land or interests in land.
Together with its partners, an Army installation prepares an ACUB proposal, which includes a comprehensive encroachment analysis of the threat, risk, and solution. The proposal details a long-term partnership approach to protect prioritized lands at critical at-risk test or training areas. The ACUB partner, not the Army, acquires a land interest from the landowner–either fee simple title or a conservation or restrictive use easement. The partner provides necessary land management and easement monitoring and enforcement, while the Army retains a right to monitor or enforce, or transfer interest to another eligible partner if the partner fails to meet the terms of the Cooperative Agreement.
Under the Department of the Navy (DON), Navy and Marine Corps installations develop an Encroachment Management Program to address compatibility and readiness sustainment. The Encroachment Partnering (EP) program is a key component of the overall Encroachment Management Program, providing the tool to implement the 2684a authority and REPI funding. The Navy and Marine Corps seek out partners who share a vested long-term interest in properties of mutual interest and who are able to secure funding to participate in the transactions. DON and its partners primarily enter into multi-year encroachment protection agreements that identify geographic areas of interest and govern how each party will conduct a transaction using the combination of partner, REPI, and Navy/Marine Corps funds. Under this over-arching multiyear agreement the partnership executes individual real estate transactions over a period of years. Funds are obligated and maintained in escrow, so as to be available in the subsequent fiscal year and to allow funding to be added every fiscal year based on requirements and availability of funds.
In some cases, partners may obtain a perpetual conservation easement on a property to preserve its compatible use or to protect habitat to mitigate environmental restrictions on test and training, while the property remains in private ownership. In other cases, the partner will purchase the property outright and manage it for public benefit. In each case, the DON obtains a real property interest from the partner, typically in the form of a restrictive use easement or conservation easement, ensuring that the land use will be compatible with nearby military uses in perpetuity.
The Air Force encroachment management enterprise planning process provides a holistic approach, from decision-making regarding mission changes to mission sustainment. Underpinning this enterprise process is collaboration and communication across and between organizations at all levels–including Air Force Headquarters, Major Commands, and installations–as well as with stakeholders. To further enhance its encroachment prevention efforts, the Air Force is developing a collaborative planning and partnering effort and is transforming its off-base encroachment efforts with a comprehensive strategy that integrates a full range of tools, including REPI and use of the 2684a authority.
The Air Force’s efforts combine internal real estate acquisition strategies for obtaining easements with external communication and outreach strategies. Together with its partners and stakeholders, installations identify parcels for acquisition and develop a REPI proposal. Air Force Major Commands review and prioritize proposals to be submitted to Air Force Headquarters, who then nominates projects to OSD for REPI funding. After the partner acquires a conservation easement or fee title to the target parcel, the Air Force may become a co-signatory on the conservation easement or obtain a real property interest in the form of a restrictive-use easement from the partner.