Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 09/2014

Strengthening National Defense: Countering Encroachment through Military-Community Collaboration

September 2009

The National Academy of Public Administration


As population growth and development have accelerated around America’s military bases, the interests of these installations and the communities adjacent to them have continued to collide.

While the military’s need to train personnel and test weapons systems to ensure readiness is legitimate, safety and quality of life in proximate civilian communities must be protected. Maintaining the ability of military installations and ranges to carry out their missions is vital to the preservation of national security. However, the nation’s military forces face serious training and readiness challenges that have the potential to reduce mission readiness and adversely impact national security. Encroachment, which includes incompatible civilian development near military facilities and the expansion of military operations into civilian areas, is reducing the military’s ability to train its fighting forces and execute its missions.