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Security

The Mid-Atlantic is home to important naval installations and training areas, and it’s a busy corridor for commercial shipping and naval and other defense and security operations.

Danger Zones & Restricted Areas

These data represent the location of Danger Zones and Restricted Areas within coastal and marine waters, as outlined by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the Raster Navigational Charts (RNC). The CFR defines a Danger Zone as, "A defined water area (or areas) used for target practice, bombing, rocket firing or other especially hazardous operations, normally for the armed forces. The danger zones may be closed to the public on a full-time or intermittent basis, as stated in the regulations." The CFR defines a Restricted Area as, "A defined water area for the purpose of prohibiting or limiting public access to the area. Restricted areas generally provide security for Government property and/or protection to the public from the risks of damage or injury arising from the Government's use of that area." Caution should be used if navigating near these areas. Authoritative information relating to these data may be found in Title 33, Chapter II of the CFR (Part 334).

Source: Department of Defense via the Code of Federal Regulations; Mapped by MarineCadastre.gov

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Unexploded Ordnances

Unexploded ordnances (or UXOs/UXBs, sometimes identified as UO) are explosive weapons (bombs, bullets, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, etc.) that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded. While “UXO” is widely and informally used, munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) is the current preferred terminology within the remediation community. This is NOT a complete collection of unexploded ordnances on the seafloor, nor are the locations to be considered exact.

Source: NOAA Office of Coast Survey; Mapped by MarineCadastre.gov

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Military Installation Location

Multiple military installations are located on land adjacent to the offshore Range Complexes. These installations may use the waters and air space of the range complexes for training or testing activities as well as other nearby range complexes. Fifteen military installations are located on land adjacent to the offshore Mid-Atlantic Complexes:
  • Ralph O. Odom, ME
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, ME
  • Newport Naval Station, RI
  • Naval Submarine Base New London, CT
  • Naval Weapons Station Earle, NJ
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ
  • Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD
  • Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, MD
  • Naval Station Norfolk, VA
  • Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, VA
  • Joint Expeditionary Base Fort Story, VA
  • Naval Air Station Oceana, VA
  • Feet Combat Training Centre Dam Neck, VA
  • Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC
  • Marie Corps Base Camp LeJeune, NC
These installations may use the waters and air space of the Virginia Capes (VACAPES) Range Complex for training or testing activities as well as other nearby range complexes located in the Northeast. The offshore VACAPES Range Complexes are also used for training and testing activities by visiting installations.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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Military Range Complex

A range complex is a designated set of specifically bounded geographic areas and encompasses a water component (above and below the surface), airspace, and may encompass a land component where training and testing of military platforms, tactics, munitions, explosives, and electronic warfare systems occur. Range complexes include established Operating Areas (OPAREAs) and special use airspace (SUA), which may be further divided to provide better control of the area and events being conducted for safety reasons.

The Boston, Narragansett, Atlantic City, and Virginia Capes (VACAPES) range complexes are located along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern seaboard of the United States. Combined, these areas are the principal locations for portions of the United States Navy’s major training and testing events and infrastructure. Three separate range complexes (the Boston Range Complex, the Narragansett Bay Range Complex, and the Atlantic City Range Complex) are collectively referred to as the Northeast Range Complex. These range complexes span 761 miles along the coast from Maine to New Jersey. The Northeast Range Complex includes special use airspace with associated warning areas and surface and subsurface sea space of the Boston OPAREA, Narragansett Bay OPAREA, and Atlantic City OPAREA.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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OPAREA Boundary

An Operating Area (OPAREA) is an ocean area defined by geographic coordinates with defined sea surface and subsurface training areas and associated special use airspace, and includes danger zones and restricted areas. The Virginia Capes (VACAPES) Range Complex is comprised of the VACAPES OPEAREA which is located offshore of the states of Virginia North Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware. The VACAPES OPAREA consists of surface and subsurface waters, special use airspace, land ranges and stationary land targets, mobile targets and target control facilities, and instrumentation facilities.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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Warning Area

Warning areas are one type of special use airspace commonly found in range complexes. Special use airspace is a designated airspace of defined dimensions where activities must be confined because of their nature or where limitations may be imposed upon aircraft operations that are not part of those activities. A warning area is an area of defined dimensions extending from 3 nautical miles (nm) outward from the coast of the United States, which serve to warn non-participating aircraft of potential danger.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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VACAPES Restricted Areas

A restricted area is one type of special use airspace (SUA) and is a defined water area for the purpose of prohibiting or limiting public access to the area. SUA is a three-dimensional region of airspace for activities which must be confined because of their nature. Limitations may be imposed upon aircraft operations that are not a part of the airspace activities. Restricted areas generally provide security for government property and also provide protection to the public from the risks of damage or injury arising from the government's use of that area (33 C.F.R. Part 334). Restricted areas can include airspace where aircraft are subject to restriction due to the existence of unusual, often invisible hazards (e.g., release of ordnance) to aircraft. Some areas are under strict control of the Department of Defense and some are shared with non-military agencies. The locations of restricted areas are published and available to mariners and pilots, who typically review such information before boating or flying in any area. Restricted areas are typically avoided by mariners and pilots.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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VACAPES Airspace Corridors

The Virginia Capes Range Complex (VACAPES) consists of an Operating Area (OPAREA) and several associated special use airspaces. This includes airspace of defined vertical/lateral limits, assigned by Air Traffic Control, for the purpose of providing air traffic segregation between the specified activity being conducted within the assigned airspace and other instrument flight rules traffic. The VACAPES Range Complex includes 28,672 nm2 of special use airspace overlying the VACAPES OPAREA. Flight altitudes range from surface to ceilings of 18,000 ft. to unlimited altitudes. Warning areas within the VACAPES Range Complex include W-50, W-386, W-387, W-72, and W-110. Restricted airspace within the VACAPES Range Complex is designated R-6606, which extends from the shoreline to approximately the 3 nm state territorial sea limit.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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VACAPES Mine Warfare Training Area

A location, which is not considered a Military Range, where mine warfare training can be conducted and can be scheduled by military training units. Mine warfare neutralization (destruction) training includes exercises in which ships, aircraft, submarines, or underwater vehicles search for mine shapes.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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Submarine Transit Lanes

Submarine transit lanes are areas where submarines may navigate underwater, including transit corridors designated for submarine travel.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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Atlantic City Airspace Corridor

Airspace consists of defined dimensions where activities must be confined because of their nature or where limitations may be imposed upon aircraft operations that are not part of those activities (Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.8). This includes airspace of defined vertical/lateral limits, assigned by Air Traffic Control, for the purpose of providing air traffic segregation between the specified activity being conducted within the assigned airspace and other instrument flight rules traffic. This area is Air Traffic Control Assigned Airspace for the Atlantic City Airspace Corridor.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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Sink Exercise (SINKEX) Area

An area where aircraft, ship, and submarine crews can deliver high-explosive ordnance on a seaborne target (usually a large deactivated vessel), which is deliberately sunk using multiple weapon systems. A sinking exercise is typically conducted by aircraft, surface ships, and submarines in order to take advantage of the ability to fire high-explosive ordnance on a full size ship target. The target is typically a decommissioned ship made environmentally safe for sinking according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. The location is greater than 50 nm from shore and in water depths greater than 6,000 ft.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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Ship Shock Trial Area

A location, which is not considered a Military Range, where ship shock trials (explosives are detonated underwater against surface ships) can be conducted and scheduled by military training units. Ship shock trials consist of a series of underwater detonations that propagate a shock wave through a ship’s hull under deliberate and controlled conditions simulating near misses from underwater explosions. A representative ship from a new ship class is exposed to detonations to assess the ability of the ship and crew to withstand near-miss situations. Charges can be used in any combination during the execution of a shock trial.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport Testing Range

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport (NUWCDIVNPT) Testing Range consists of waters within Narragansett Bay, nearshore waters of Rhode Island Sound, Block Island Sound, and coastal waters of New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The Testing Range located near NUWCDIVNPT is an area used for research, development, test, and evaluation of Undersea Warfare systems, and, as necessary, to support other Navy and Department of Defense (DoD) operations. The NUWCDIVNPT testing range focuses on the undersea aspects of warfare and is therefore structured to test systems such as torpedoes and unmanned underwater vehicles, and contains several sea space restricted areas.

Source: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic

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