Project Description

This Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been prepared for the modernization and expansion of Townsend Bombing Range (TBR) located in McIntosh County, Georgia (Regional Location Map) to accommodate the use of inert (with spotting charges) precision-guided munitions (PGMs) with their associated larger land requirements. To accomplish this, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) proposes to acquire lands in the vicinity of TBR on which to create new target areas to allow for a greater variety of training activities.

This project will allow the USMC to more efficiently meet current training requirements by significantly increasing the air-to-ground training capabilities in the Beaufort, South Carolina region. Presently, squadrons from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort must use West Coast training ranges to satisfy PGM training requirements. Having a range available for this training would result in greater training efficiency. This EIS will consider several land acquisition scenarios and configurations of the range to meet these training requirements (Current Proposed Land Acquisition Alternatives – March 2013). These land acquisition scenarios have been developed through the use of modeling software to determine the land area necessary to accommodate the use of inert (with spotting charges) PGMs at TBR in a manner that will accomplish the training requirements while maintaining public safety.

During the EIS process, USMC analysis led to the removal of one of the three originally proposed acquisition areas (Area 2 Project Update Notice). Further, the USMC split the original Acquisition Area 1 into Acquisition Areas 1A and 1B. Finally, the USMC developed an additional alternative (Alternative 4) for analysis in the EIS.